Mini studies of innovative business models for global health

by admin on July 12, 2011

What can we learn by looking at enterprises that seek to address health delivery challenges?
MIT students share their observations of front-line organizations

Modern medicine could reduce disease greatly, yet fails to reach millions in Africa and elsewhere. Innovations in technology, process, and finance may help address the delivery challenges. At MIT Sloan’s Business Models for Scale and Sustainability in Global Health class, we analyze business models and performance of organizations that aim to provide healthcare to the poor amid challenging constraints to understand what may differentiate successful enterprises from those that fall short.

In our first offering of the class in late 2010, we explored novel solutions and new business models for delivering health care in resource limited settings, pairing case studies of what works with an exploration of bottlenecks in care delivery. The class aim was to examine what we learn from applying a business and management lens to what global health experts call the implementation gap.

With this aim in mind, we asked student teams to choose and analyze an organization that focuses on healthcare for the poor in an emerging market. As a course assignment, we asked them to prepare an executive summary, aimed at the organization’s board of directors, identifying the organization’s sources of success, assessment of challenges and three areas and questions the student team would tackle if they leaders of their chosen organization.  Drawing largely on publicly-available materials and in some cases direct, though limited, interaction with the organizations the students presented their finding to the class, sharing operational and strategic insights.

Below are the 7 organizations chosen by the students. We share their work in the hopes that others will build on it in keeping with the creative commons license.

  1. Heart Institute of the Caribbean (Jamaica)
  2. Nyaya Health (Nepal)
  3. Smile Train (India)
  4. Sproxil (Nigeria)
  5. Living Goods (Uganda)
  6. Mi Farmacita Nacional (Mexico)
  7. Village Health Works (Burundi)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Beth Delanny October 30, 2011 at 12:59 am

THank you for featuring Living Goods. Over 25,000 people die each day for lack of proven health products that cost less than a cup of coffee. All 7 of the organizations you mentioned are no less important in their plight toward helping the needy.

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