Healthcare Jugaad Innovation of a 17-Year-Old

Healthcare Jugaad Innovation of a 17-Year-Old

Jugaad Innovation is an innovation subspecialty focused on designing inventions that are intentionally frugal and flexible in order to be more accessible to the entire world. As a result, a lot of jugaad innovation occurs in the developing world. Some of these inventions become innovations and spread from the developing world to the developed world.

I came across a story recently highlighting the potential healthcare jugaad innovation of 17-year-old Dasia Taylor of Iowa, who found that beets provide the perfect dye for her invention of sutures that change color when a surgical wound becomes infected (from bright red to dark purple).

According to Smithsonian magazine:

The 17-year-old student at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa, began working on the project in October 2019, after her chemistry teacher shared information about state-wide science fairs with the class. As she developed her sutures, she nabbed awards at several regional science fairs, before advancing to the national stage. This January, Taylor was named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

There is still commercialization work to do (more testing, clinical trials, etc.), but the approach shows promise and is far cheaper than high-tech sutures that require a smartphone to sense changes in electrical resistance as an indicator of infection.

Congratulations Dasia!

The great thing about this jugaad innovation approach is that not only could it be a practical solution for developing countries, but national health services and insurance companies are always looking for effective but inexpensive solutions as well.

Good luck with the rest of your research, and keep innovating!

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Human-Centered Experience, Innovation and Transformation consultant at HCL Technologies, a popular innovation speaker, workshop leader, and creator of the Human-Centered Change™ methodology. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden is a US Navy veteran and earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
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