Background: The Health Sector in India
India is an unusually vivid environment, producing cutting-edge research and technology development, leading service delivery institutions and “focused factories,” and hosting outsourcing settings for clinical trials and health information technology. At the same time, the country deals with the classic developing world issues of inadequate population health status and access to services. The resulting contradiction of simultaneous progress and poverty epitomizes the situation emerging countries find themselves in when it comes to health care.Issues of particular interest in this course include technology and bio-pharma development, effective service delivery with limited resources, the role of entrepreneurial initiative in complex environments, international trade and competition in the health sector, and the potential to leapfrog development in underdeveloped settings.
The group will conduct pre-visit research that lays the foundation for our site visits, at which students will experience the development and application of new technologies and products, new markets, new businesses, new financing mechanisms, and new delivery structures first-hand, through the eyes of managers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and policy makers. Students will travel to a variety of start-up and developed companies, NGOs, and government organizations across the health sector where they will build on the research they did prior to the trip and develop a rich understanding of the relevant issues and dynamics through real-world contact with key leaders.Company-specific themes of focus include:
- The globalization of bio-pharma discovery, development, and manufacturing, and the outsourcing dynamics of health information technology.
- What are the key market dynamics and opportunities? Who are the key players?
- What is the role of international trade and intellectual property agreements, and how are they driven by political, ethical, and cultural considerations?
- What is the role of country-specific educational capacity and governmental policy and effectiveness?
- The restructuring of service delivery fueled by a focused drive for outcomes and a disciplined use of resources.
- How are exemplary focused factories developed in India?
- How is first-world intensive care provided at a fraction of the cost that it is in the West?
- How is primary care delivered with minimal resources?
- What can developed countries learn from India, and India from the US?
- The frustrations and promise of technical innovation, entrepreneurship, and public-private partnership.
- How are entrepreneurial initiatives affected by mechanisms of access to capital, dramatic economic disparities, and legacy governmental institutions, laws, and regulations?
- How can global market opportunities and public-private partnerships leverage economic and systems change?
- How can technology innovation support leapfrog approaches to health care delivery in the developing world?
Texts and Preparation
Preceding the trip, each seminar participant will be assigned a research topic based on their personal career interests. Topics will vary greatly and include research on emerging health sector issues and opportunities, and relevant companies and institutions we will be visiting.The goal of the brief is to ensure that every participant is fully prepared before each visit, so that the group makes the best use of its time with CEOs, managers, and other company or organizational representatives.