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The science fiction author William Gibson famously quipped the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed. There is arguably no greater manifestation of our uneven world than that of healthcare.

In the wealthiest countries, thousands of people in their 60s and 70s are kept alive with cardiac pacemakers that are remotely monitored over the internet, and adjusted by algorithms with no human intervention. In poorer states, three-quarters of a million children under five are dying each year because of shit in their water.

What can explain such unevenness, and what might be done about it? A scan of the proceedings at the World Health Summit in Berlin, which starts on Sunday, and where technological innovation is one of the major themes, is revealing. “Despite the exponential growth of scientific and technological development, low- and middle-income countries are still largely excluded from access to appropriate and affordable health technologies.

Therefore novel technological devices need to be developed that can address health problems and improve quality of life,” reads the blurb for Monday’s keynote session.

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source: The Guardian
published: 9 October 2016

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