Disruptive innovation, sometimes called “frugal innovation,” is the new trend in health-care innovation that removes the bells and whistles, and strips an idea down to the bare necessities. It’s not about lower spec or lower quality. Executives at GE Healthcare say the best way to achieve this innovation is to be “in country for country.” Selling to suit is not new, but experts feel that the health-care industry has been behind the curve. “Coca-Cola sees a business opportunity in every African,” said Ali Mufuruki, chief executive, Infotech Investment Group. “We (in the health-care industry) need to look at Africans not as needy, poor, problematic customers but as people with special needs we can meet.” The approach started as a way to help poorer countries, but the ideas and products are catching the eye of developed nations caught in the recession.

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