Evaluating innovation in low-resource environments
There are numerous unique challenges to conducting evaluations of complex interventions such as surgical innovation in low-resource environments. These environments can be found anywhere in the world but are often more frequently located in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). In these settings, our work demonstrates that innovation is often adopted with no evaluation or evaluation that may be inappropriate for the context.
To help address these methodological, practical and technical challenges, the IDEAL Framework has been adapted into the IDEAL Global Framework (IDEAL Global for short). This adaptation was generated from rounds of fieldwork in low-resource environments and through consultation with global surgical innovators and researchers from several countries across the globe.
One of the most significant drivers of rising healthcare costs globally arises from the development of healthcare technology. This impacts all countries worldwide, but disproportionality affects the poorest through lack of access. Furthermore, the sustainability of healthcare technology is moving higher up national and global agendas. Frugal methodologies can help address both the rising technology costs and the need for greener innovation because frugal innovation results in more sustainable and cost-effective solutions.
IDEAL Global aims to deliver the following products and services to help address this need.
Firstly, IDEAL Global Framework recommendations aim to give surgeons and researchers in low-resource environments guidance on what study designs may be required, and how best they could be conducted in view of the practical context. You can read more about these in links published here shortly.
Secondly, IDEAL Global coordinates a network of experts in global surgical innovation. This network can be accessed to provide global innovation and evaluation consultancy services aimed at helping surgeons or researchers develop innovation and evaluate it, or to help companies looking to produce more frugal innovation. Please get in touch with Benjamin Hornsby (Project Coordinator for the IDEAL) if you would like to access this service: email@example.com
Thirdly, to encourage high-quality IDEAL Global evaluations to emerge, and provide a pathway to impact with reduced barriers, IDEAL Global partners with a BMJ sub-journal to provide reduced fees or free publications for researchers from LMICs who have used the IDEAL Framework. This is a novel model in development, so please contact us if you would like to know more about this.
An online launch webinar will be delivered in March 2023. This is your chance to find out more about the initiative and ask questions. Keep an eye out for details and updates by following us on Twitter.