Frugal Innovations for Global Health

Global health opens up a plethora of opportunities, yet it encompasses in itself myriad of challenges. Biomedical engineering students should embrace these challenges and make the most out of them through innovative projects aimed at solving real world problems. An interesting observation when one sees the whole domain of biomedical innovations is that, many innovations have been stemming out of emerging economies, rather than only from the richly-funded laboratories of the developed nations. As it has been said, “necessity is the mother of invention,” so the lack of crucial infrastructure and technologies often gives rise to local inventions that solve local problems, and healthcare has been no exception. Many grassroots innovations are often termed “frugal innovations,” developed by below-the-radar innovators representing low cost solutions using home grown or self-created technologies, often born out of dire need.

EMBS at Half a Century

I had an occasion recently to give a short talk describing the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) to students and faculty and the University of Florida. In looking over background material, I came to appreciate how deep and long the roots of our society travel and how strong and wide it currently stands.

Triple Threat

The start of my second year of graduate school has brought some refreshing changes. I no longer walk into lab any more with the paralyzing fear that I do not know anything or know how to do anything. Now, I at least vaguely know some of the lab’s techniques, I know where to find most supplies, and I can usually follow along for a good portion of my colleague’s presentations at lab meeting. All of these things are great accomplishments in hindsight after thinking about where I was a year ago.

Women in Leadership: Goldilocks Syndrome

Most children have probably heard the classic fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A young girl with golden hair wanders into the empty house of three different bears—one small, one large, and one sized in-between. She comes upon a table with three bowls of cooling porridge, and upon sampling each one, discovers successively that the first is too hot, the second too cold, and the third just right. She eats all of the porridge in the third bowl. The same happens when she comes upon three chairs, and finally, three beds. The third item in the series always proves to be the most comfortable, as the intermediate option between two extremes, but more meaningfully, Goldilocks always judges it to be “just right.”