Strategic Opportunities for Leveraging Low-cost, High-impact Technological Innovations to Promote Cardiovascular Health in India
Prabhakaran, D.; Ajay, V.S.; Tandon, N.
Ethnicity and Disease 29(Suppl 1): 145-152
ISSN/ISBN: 1945-0826 PMID: 30906163 DOI: 10.18865/ed.29.s1.145
Accelerated epidemiological transition in India over the last 40 years has resulted in a dramatic increase in the burden of cardiovascular diseases and the related risk factors of diabetes and hypertension. This increase in disease burden has been accompanied by pervasive health disparities associated with low disease detection rates, inadequate awareness, poor use of evidence-based interventions, and low adherence rates among patients in rural regions in India and those with low socioeconomic status. Several research groups in India have developed innovative technologies and care-delivery models for screening, diagnosis, clinical management, remote-monitoring, self-management, and rehabilitation for a range of chronic conditions. These innovations can leverage advances in sensor technology, genomic tools, artificial intelligence, big-data analytics, and so on, for improving access to and delivering quality and affordable personalized medicine in primary care. In addition, several health technology start-ups are entering this booming market that is set to grow rapidly. Innovations outside biomedical space (eg, protection of traditional wisdom in diet, lifestyle, yoga) are equally important and are part of a comprehensive solution. Such low-cost, culturally tailored, robust innovations to promote health and reduce disparities require partnership among multi-sectors including academia, industry, civil society, and health systems operating in a conducive policy environment that fosters adequate public and private investments. In this article, we present the unique opportunity for India to use culturally tailored, low-cost, high-impact technological innovations and strategies to ameliorate the perennial challenges of social, policy, and environmental challenges including poverty, low educational attainment, culture, and other socioeconomic factors to promote cardiovascular health and advance health equity.