Workshop Encourages Rethinking of Global Health

Workshop Encourages Rethinking of Global Health

Jul 12

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On May 9th 2016, the first Rethinking Global Health workshop was held at the MIT Media Lab. This event, organized by the newly formed student organization MIT Cost-effective Healthcare Initiative, was attended by a diverse group of over 180 students, faculty members, physicians, NGO representatives and industry representatives.


The goal of the workshop was to gather a community of innovators from the Boston area currently working in global heath or cost-effective healthcare. The workshop also engaged persons from industry, research and healthcare in a dialogue about the ways that MIT can become a hub for global health advancement, taking innovations from to research to reality.


During the morning session, speakers addressed the challenges to and increasingly unsustainable cost of healthcare worldwide. They also spoke to the unique issues related to deploying innovative medical solutions in resource poor areas. Ragon speakers at the workshop included International Program Director Filippos Porichis; physician/scientist Dr. Tariro Makadzange, and faculty member Arup Chakraborty.


The morning talks were followed by a lunch time poster session, featuring 34 posters. The posters– submitted by (students? Industry?)—dealt with work ranging from the basic science of HIV to the development of cost-effective medical devices to new approaches to mental health care in limited-resource or disaster-stricken areas.


Three simultaneous afternoon panel sessions focused on the themes of Big Data for Global Health, Entrepreneurship and Implementation Abroad, Reverse Innovation, and Getting Funding. Additionally, an industry roundtable was held with executives from GE Healthcare, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Takeda, and Philips discussing the challenges and opportunities in global health.


“With the breadth and depth of research already at MIT and hope this workshop will spur further momentum in support of global health work,” said workshop organizer and Ragon MD/Phd candidate Abby Schiff,


At the close of the conference, the announcement was made that a $100K funding opportunity would become available later in 2016 to assist interdisciplinary teams working on highly translational cost-effective healthcare projects.


Moving forward, the MIT Cost-effective Healthcare Initiative will host a summer seminar series which will be kicked off on June 3rd with a talk by Dan Hartman, Director of Integrated Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.