Frugal Innovations in In Health Care

Micro Innovations, Macro Impacts

Why this conference?

Access to health care and well-being is a human right as declared in the United Nations proclamation:  

“Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development” (UN 2015).

Even though tremendous advances have been made in health care in the last few decades, still close to 4 billion people today across the lower socioeconomic strata have no access to these lives changing medical care. On the other hand, in developed economies like the United States, the cost of health care has increased to almost 18% of GDP and continues to rise as the population is aging.

In recent years, there has been a tremendous shift towards innovations that can not only improve health care by a substantial reduction of cost but also provide core functionalities and optimized performance, appropriately terming it Frugal Innovations in Health Care.  While a lot of these frugal innovations have been developed or applied in the developing countries, it is also very relevant that we in the United States look at these innovations and engage in a dialogue to see how such innovations can reduce health care costs here as well.

With these challenges in mind, India Development Service (IDS), a nonprofit organization based in Chicago plans to organize a “Frugal Innovation in Health Care” conference in September 2020. IDS has been working to support grassroots socio-economic projects in India since 1974 and has reached out to nearly 250 projects in several states of India to help the most marginalized communities.  For more information on IDS, please see our website:

Here is a sampling of frugal innovations that we plan to explore during the conference:

1) Jaipur Foot: low-cost prosthesis for amputees

2) iBreast: a device to screen women for breast cancer

3) Menstrual Cups

4) Algosurg: Converting 2D X-rays into 3D images

5) MyOssler: telemedicine with an ability to do a more detailed examination.

6) Inali Foundation: low-cost prosthesis

7) Matibabu: a device to detect malaria in two minutes.

We invite all socially conscious individuals, institutes, organizations, and universities to be part of the conference, learn and invest in a “ground-up” technology for a simple, yet profoundly impactful way to deliver quality health care system. We want undergraduate and graduate students to participate to stimulate their creativity to come up with innovative ideas that have the potential to change the playing field for access to quality health care at a reasonable cost. The top two poster presentations will be announced with monetary awards.

Future plans:

We hope to make frugal innovations a yearly conference. We feel that apart from the health care, there are also so many other frugal innovations in different areas such as energy, water conservation and water safety, sustainable agricultural practices, improving the educational systems, etc.

Our partners in this effort:

We are privileged to partner with WorldView Solutions and faculty at Loyola and University of Illinois to bring this conference to Chicago on September 11, 2020



For additional information about this conference, please contact Dr. Nila Vora: or (630) 660-3870


Manish Dhadda
Jaipur Foot
Prashant Despande
Prashant Gade
Inali Foundation
Vikas Karade
Brian Gitta
Supriya Mehta
Menstrual Cups
Mihir Shah
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525 Jackson Blvd.,

Oak Park, IL 60304

IDS is a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law.
FEIN – 23-7355796

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