Improving health-care delivery in low-resource settings with nanotechnology: Challenges in multiple dimensions
In the two decades after 1990, the rates of child and maternal mortality dropped by over 40% and 47%, respectively. Despite these improvements, which are in part due to increased access to medical technologies, profound health disparities exist. In 2015, a child born in a developing region is nearly eight times as likely to die before the age of 5 than one born in a developed region and developing regions accounted for nearly 99% of the maternal deaths. Recent developments in nanotechnology, however, have great potential to ameliorate these and other health disparities by providing new cost-effective solutions for diagnosis or treatment of a variety of medical conditions. Affordability is only one of the several challenges that will need to be met to translate new ideas into a medical product that addresses a global health need. This article aims to describe some of the other challenges that will be faced by nanotechnologists who seek to make an impact in low-resource settings across the globe.