Targeting key challenges in healthcare

Global Insight Fellows to identify most pressing needs in Senegal clinics

Saint-Louis, Senegal

A multidisciplinary team of three will be spending five weeks at the Saint Luis Hospital in Senegal where they will be identifying the most pressing unmet clinical needs in maternal and newborn health today.

This fieldwork forms part of the Global Insight Fellowship, a 9-month program run at the Department of Engineering Science which trains multidisciplinary teams of experts to target the key challenges faced in low resource health settings today: improving population health, reducing costs, and enhancing patient care.

Before being immersed at their host clinic overseas, the Fellows will take part in an Oxford ‘boot camp’: a three-week intensive training period, in which they will learn about Needs-Led Innovation including ethnographic research, social entrepreneurship, needs finding, need selection, product development, intellectual property and market analysis. They will also conduct a “mini-case”, where they go through all of the stages of the program in a 2-week period, spending time observing in a local organization focused on social outreach to identifying the most pressing need for that organization and proposing a solution.

Having effectively done a test-run of the whole 9-month program in a 2-week period, the teams will be ready to start their clinical immersion at a host clinic in Senegal, following the same Needs-Led Innovation methodology. Throughout the year they will be given full access to their allocated clinic and hospital, and can return to validate and follow-up when needed.

The aim is not only to train the Oxford fellows, but for the programme to create an enabling environment within the healthcare organisations, resulting in quicker adoption of novel technologies and processes, and to identify healthcare solutions with high potential for translation into other settings.

Program Manager Daniel Mogefors (pictured left), who visited Senegal late last year to meet local government, university and hospital representatives and set up logistics, says “The Needs-Led Innovation approach has been applied at some of the most prominent university hospitals in the world for many years. We are very excited to adapt this model to a new – resource constrained – health care environment, where we believe it can have a lot of impact.