The Kahawa Declaration: a manifesto for the democratization of medical technology

  • Arti Ahluwalia Centro di Ricerca E. Piaggio and Department of Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Carmelo De Maria Centro di Ricerca E. Piaggio and Department of Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Andres Diaz Lantada Mechanical Engineering Department, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Abstract




Most medical technology is employed and accepted passively by patients and doctors who have little or no influence in its design or usability. Patients are not involved in the development of medical technology, which is undertaken behind closed doors and whose global impact is hindered by proprietary know-how and by costs. This has so far impeded equitable healthcare as most of the world does not have access to the technology or healthcare coverage. Understanding the relevance of international partnerships for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, feeling specially committed to the promotion of the Goal on “Good Health and Well-Being”, and convinced about the role that open-source biomedical engineering approaches may play in the future of medical technology, we commit ourselves, through the Kahawa Declaration, to enlighten the transformation of the biomedical engineering field, towards the democratization of medical technology as a key for achieving universal equitable health care. This paper presents the content of the Kahawa Declaration, which was signed in Nairobi in December 2017.




Author Biographies

Arti Ahluwalia, Centro di Ricerca E. Piaggio and Department of Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Arti Ahluwalia is Professor of Bioengineering at the Department of Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Pisa, and affiliated with the Research Center E. Piaggio, where she is head of the IVM Group (www.centropiaggio.unipi.it). Prof Ahluwalia is also an associate of the National Council of Research Institute of Clinical Physiology (CNR-IFC), and head of the NanoBioscopy Lab. She has several papers published in international scientific journals (over 100) and is author of 13 patents on microfabrication, and on micro-fabricated multi-compartmental bioreactors. She is co-founder of two high-technology companies and 5 of her patents have been industrialized to date. She coordinated an EU-Asialink project on the development of human resources in biomedical engineering in South East Asia. She has pioneered Open Education in Biomedical Engineering in Africa and is a Scientific and Education Consultant for Biomedical Engineering for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). She was instrumental in setting up the African Biomedical Engineering Consortium (ABEC) and is the consortium's Patron, and the coordinator of UBORA EU project.

Carmelo De Maria, Centro di Ricerca E. Piaggio and Department of Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Carmelo De Maria is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the Department of Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Pisa, and affiliated with the Research Center E. Piaggio. He is guest professor in bioengineering at Addis Ababa University, and member of the African Biomedical Engineering Consortium secretariat. His research interests are in the field of additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping technologies, with a particular focus in Biofabrication. He has several papers published in international scientific journals (over 30) and in 2016 he received the 1st award as Young Investigator from the International Society for Biofabrication. De Maria is also co-founder and president of the FabLab Pisa.

Published
2018-05-29
How to Cite
AHLUWALIA, Arti; DE MARIA, Carmelo; DIAZ LANTADA, Andres. The Kahawa Declaration: a manifesto for the democratization of medical technology. Global Health Innovation, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, may 2018. ISSN 2617-1155. Available at: <https://journals.uct.ac.za/index.php/GHI/article/view/507>. Date accessed: 13 nov. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.15641/ghi.v1i1.507.
Section
Commentary