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Nov 6

Saving the NHS Costs - the Frugal Way

Katie Konyn

in News

A new field of healthcare innovation has arisen; focused on identifying unmet clinical needs for medical devices in emerging economies to create simple, affordable and accessible solutions for patients.

  • The Frugal Innovation Workshop:

    The pioneering programme from the Stanford-India Biodesign (SIB) Programme at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India has led to phenomenal successes. Students from a consortium of Indian, Japanese and Australian universities join the SIB Programme for one-year fellowships which sees them working with clinics in a range of frontline settings to discover real world problems. One of the many successful innovations that has emerged from the SIB Programme is HiCARE LIMO, designed for caregivers working with patients who have suffered traumatic injuries but have not yet been able to receive definitive care. It is a cardboard splint that allows the temporary immobilisation and protection of injured limbs. 

    This autumn the Institute of Healthcare Engineering is running a three-day workshop focused on frugal medical technology innovation entitled “saving costs for the NHS – the frugal way” in collaboration with the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre. This workshop will be led by our international collaborator Dr Prashant Jha from the SIB Programme. The workshop will run through the discover, definine and design stages of frugal prototype development.

    This is a unique opportunity open to UCL staff and students across all disciplines to discover this innovative way of thinking which can be applied any area of healthcare research to The three-day workshop offers an introduction to this agile way of conducting research and is designed to spark new thought processes, nuture disruptive thinking and encourage collaborative working. Adopting this way of thinking has the potential to save the NHS significant resources which could instead be directed towards patient care.

  • The Programme:

    Monday 06 November

    10.00 – 11.00: The Frugal Innovation Mindset
    Lecture by Dr Prashant Jha

    Malet Place Engineering Building 1.03

    11.00 -13.00: Discover
    A two-hour workshop led by Prashant which will define the working groups of the workshop, introduce the challenges to worked on during the week and tools required

    Malet Place Engineering Building 1.20

    13.00 – 14.00: Lunch

    14.00 – 17.00: Continued working session in groups on the problems set out in the introductory session

    Malet Place Engineering Building 1.20

    Wednesday 08 November

    14.00 – 17.00: Define
    A three-hour session which will guide workshop participants through their research, steering them towards the frugal innovation mindset and helping the teams choose the correct methodologies

    Roberts Building 110

    Friday 10 November

    0900 – 12:00: Design
    The final session of the workshop will see the groups work on producing working-prototypes which build on their research work and give participants the adaptive tools necessary to apply this to their ongoing research and day-to-day work

    Gordon House 106

    All sessions will take place at UCL, Bloomsbury Campus.

  • How to join the Workshop:

    • Places at the workshop are open to staff and students working across all disciplines.
    • Places are limited and must be coordinated through R&D Manager Rahima Begum.
    • If you are offered a place you must be able to commit to the timings of the sessions outlined in the agenda.

    If you are interested in participating in the workshop please email a short summary describing your motivations for applying to Rahima Begum ( by midnight Friday 27th October 2017.

    The opening lecture is open to all and we do have additional capacity outside of the workshop participants. Attendance to the lecture theatre will be on a first come first serve basis for those not booked onto the workshop.

  • Dr. Prashant Jha:

  • Dr. Prashant Jha is a physician-engineer-inventor-entrepreneur who trained in family medicine, bioengineering, product design, computer science, strategy and innovation management from Prince of Wales Medical College, Royal College of General Practitioners London, IIT Kanpur, AIIMS Delhi, Stanford University and Harvard University. Over the last decade he has invented medical devices in the areas of stress urinary incontinence, haemorrhoid surgery, labour monitoring, pulmonary medicine and diabetes management.

    He is a serial entrepreneur and has set up venture backed businesses in the domains of vaccine delivery, personalised oncology, internet services, education technology and medical devices over last fifteen years.

    Currently, Dr. Jha serves as the Fellowship Director of Biodesign School at AIIMS and IIT Delhi. Besides practising general medicine, he trains physicians, designers and engineers in the art and science of inventing medical technologies. He has teaching appointments at several Medical, Engineering and Business Schools in Japan, Australia and Europe – with whom he works to create an ecosystem for developing low-cost, high-impact medical devices for the common man.

    He also serves as the Senior Editor in South Asia for The BMJ and founder-editor for BMJ Innovations, world’s first medical innovations journal.

    He aspires to impact lives of 10 million fellow-citizens by 2025, by working with teams to create 10 medical devices.