The Indiana CTSI Global Health Innovation Exchange Program highlighted the concept of reciprocal innovation in an abstract published March 1 in The Lancet Global Health and a poster presented at last month’s Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) conference by Tommy Sors, PhD, who serves as the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute navigator for Purdue University. Sors is also the assistant director of the Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease at Purdue University.
“The poster at ACTS introduced the concept of reciprocal innovation to an audience beyond Indiana University,” said Kara K. Wools-Kaloustian, MD, director of research for the Indiana University Center for Global Health (IUCGH). “The goal of reciprocal innovation is to create greater health equity globally while accelerating the timeline from discovery, replication and dissemination to widespread implementation of effective health interventions, technologies and programs.”
The abstract titled, “Reciprocal Innovation: A new approach to equitable and mutually beneficial global health research and partnerships” published in The Lancet Global Health was selected from a competitive pool of applicants who presented during the Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference earlier this year.
The IU Center for Global Health coined the term “reciprocal innovation” to describe the bi-directional and iterative exchange of a technology, methodology or process between at least two countries – one lower- or middle-income country and one high-income country – to address a common health challenge and provide mutual benefit to both sides. The abstract describes early lessons in building the program and its potential as a transformative approach to address systemic inequities across high-income and low/middle-income countries.
Indiana CTSI institutions (Indiana University, University of Notre Dame, and Purdue University) established the reciprocal innovation program to design, demonstrate, replicate, and rapidly disseminate health innovations developed through collaborations with low- and middle-income countries. The Global Health Program has become a world-class leader in serving health needs of underserved populations across the world.
“We are very proud of this program and of this accomplishment in getting our work published,” said Rishika Chauhan O’Brien, MPA, program manager of the IU Center for Global Health.
Sors, Wools-Kaloustian and O’Brien are all members of the Indiana CTSI Global Health Program leadership committee.
Inspired by a 30-year global health partnership between Indiana University and Moi University College of Health Sciences in Eldoret, Kenya, lessons learned through the reciprocal innovation program are continually shared to suit the needs and infrastructure of each country. In a recent issue of the Global Health Matters newsletter, Roger Glass, MD, PhD, director of the NIH Fogarty International Center, described the importance of reciprocal innovation in global health and noted IUCGH’s leadership in this area.