Laparoscopy is a major breakthrough in surgery. By using gas to inflate the abdomen, surgeons are able to drastically increase their visibility and thus can work through very small incisions to do major abdominal surgeries. The benefits are numerous including smaller scars, quicker recovery, and shorter time to return to work (which decreases lost wages). The problem? It requires a constant supply of carbon dioxide gas to be pumped in.
While this is usually not a problem in a high-resource setting, how do you do this in a low-resource context where even electricity is often unavailable? No gas, no problem? This was the thought by Noel Aruparyil and William Bolton. “The Hindi word ‘Jugaad’ describes an improvised or makeshift solution using scarce resources. It’s a way of life in India, where washing machines are used for whipping up yogurt drinks, but it’s also an innovation theory…” Conventional laparoscopy would never reach rural areas, but by designing a system which would work without gas, it could be a bridge to get healthcare workers trained and patients benefitting from this important technology.
This is the idea of Jugaad innovation. If you see a problem, come up with a solution – but just don’t come up with any solution, come up with one that is frugal, flexible, affordable, of good quality, and sustainable. Join us as we talk about innovation in this vital procedure and the process of medical technology as a whole!