Anurag Mairal, leader of PATH’s Technology Solutions Program, will speak on “Accelerating Innovation to Save Lives and Improve Health in Low-Resource Settings” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday as part of the Washington Global Health Alliance’s Discovery Series. The lecture takes place in Foege Auditorium, room S-060 at the University of Washington. For more information, contact the Global Health Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the Washington Global Health Alliance’s website.
Build it, and they will come. Too often, that is how global health technologies are developed, says Anurag Mairal, leader of PATH’s Technology Solutions Program. Projects lurch forward—delayed and accelerated according to the tides of donor funding—based on an assumption that, in the end, markets and users will embrace the technology.
Now Anurag and his team are transforming this process and pushing the global health community to think outside the box. And he’s bringing his own outside-the-box background to the task.
Mind the medical gap
“I grew up in India, in a state called Chhattisgarh,” Anurag explains. “The southern part of the state is extremely isolated. The first time I went there, I was blown away by how pristine it was, but also by how modern medicine hadn’t quite reached it. It was a different world.”
It would take decades, however, before Anurag would find himself addressing that medical gap. First, he became a chemical engineer, moved to the United States to get his PhD, and developed a passion for integrating disciplines and sectors.
His PhD dissertation combined chemical engineering with physics and mechanical engineering to solve a costly problem in waste water treatment. His subsequent work in the biotech and then the medical device industries led to a flurry of patents in areas as diverse as water, energy, and medicine. Continue reading