People are now living longer than ever before, but with this extended lease on life comes greater challenges. In most countries, the average life expectancy is now double what it was before the 19th century (Roser, 2011). The increased life expectancy across the globe shows the technological advancements we have made, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of people’s lives has grown as well. As a person’s age increases so does their need to access medical care, and this is true for developing countries as well.
Medical providers are faced with the daunting task of providing their patients with adequate medical care due to limited resources. Among these resources is medical equipment, which is a common way for organizations to provide aid to these hospitals. However, the equipment while extremely important and highly needed does come with an enormous amount of responsibility.
It is estimated that 40% of the donated medical equipment is broken due to an inability to service the equipment, improper training to use equipment, or inadequate power supplies. The equipment is often given to developing countries with good intention, but the broken equipment is causing problems. There is a significant lack of trained medical technicians to service these hospitals, so much that broken equipment often goes unreported.
Despite these alarming statistics, there is a space within the Medical Equipment Leasing Industry that creates an opportunity for members to combine their expertise, with technology and philanthropy to provide medical care to all humans. Furthermore, these change agents can accomplish these in a way that is scalable, leading to independence within these nations and increased infrastructure for economic growth.
A group of students in a graduate course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created a for profit company to help alleviate the heavy burden of purchasing equipment or more often than not, going with no equipment at all. Founder Opeymi Olgun launched MDaaS (Medical Devices as a Service) in 2015. The company is working toward creating affordable access to high-quality medical equipment in Nigeria. They go beyond primary leasing and financing and provide services that focus on combatting the issues surrounding broken medical equipment. MDaaS provides structure for hospitals for obtaining, finance, and support the medical equipment. Furthermore, each device includes one year of service support, with the option to purchase service contracts after the first year and service operating manuals (MDaaS, 2017).
What companies like MDaaS recognize is that there is greater power in going into partnerships when both parties stand to benefit. Having an equal interest in the success of the hospital will result in great success and lead to further investments in the future. While investing in other types of business within developing countries can contribute to the economic growth and decrease the poverty gap, it’s important to understand healthy and financially independent people are the ones that create and build striving businesses. This combination of philanthropy and technology can have a direct effect on economic stimulation and ultimately increase infrastructure within these developing countries – a scalable solution where everyone can benefit.
Max Roser (2017) – ‘Life Expectancy.’ Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy/ [Online Resource]
Medical Devices as a Service. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2017, from http://www.mdaasnigeria.com/