Needs assessment in low resources settings and the role of biomedical engineers

Despite increasing worldwide efforts to improve the quality of healthcare in low resource countries there remains a persistent deficit in medical care in these settings. A major contributor to these deficits is the dearth of basic medical technologies. Medical technologies created for use in developed countries are typically designed with little consideration for power consumption, access to consumables, utilize disposables, are costly and difficult to maintain. To create affordable and appropriate medical technology that incorporates design constraints for these settings, biomedical engineers must have a deep understanding of the clinical context and needs of both the users and beneficiaries. Needs assessments are therefore critical in ensuring technology interventions in resource constrained settings are sustainable and impactful.