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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 140

Honey bee section: (A section for innovative solutions to common medical problems)

Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication2-Mar-2017

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Seth
Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-5414.201385

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How to cite this article:
Seth S. Honey bee section: (A section for innovative solutions to common medical problems). J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2016;2:140

How to cite this URL:
Seth S. Honey bee section: (A section for innovative solutions to common medical problems). J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Jun 7];2:140. Available from: https://www.j-pcs.org/text.asp?2016/2/3/140/201385

In this issue, we introduce a book “Grassroots Innovation: Minds on the Margin are not Marginal Minds.” By Anil K. Gupta.

This book, by Professor Anil Gupta from IIM Ahmedabad, is the story of his quest for India's small and unknown inventors and their unusual innovations. In the 1980s, Anil Gupta had started a movement to search for and document “grassroots innovators” – people without a scientific or technical background who had come up with innovative solutions to their daily problems. The innovations he found highlighted two features: sustainability and frugality. The other concept he introduces is the “honey bee network.” The honey bee pollinates the flowers and takes the honey without harming the flower. Similarly, his concept was to source the knowledge of the innovation from the inventors, give them credit and also share with them the knowledge of other similar inventions. The inventors would also get a share of any wealth generated through their invention.

How does this apply to the medical world? Medical knowledge is advancing very fast, and most of our knowledge of the advances is gained from journals and attending conferences. This updates us to the latest advances but many of these may not be applicable to India or too expensive or too advanced to apply. If we look around in India, we find there are many grassroots innovations going on which we do not know about but which need to be encouraged: there was a news item of some young inventors who created an oxygen supply source to be used in an emergency using chemicals, for a rural setup, and another set of inventors created an anesthesia setup from the by-products of a fertilizer factory. Efforts like these need to be encouraged and knowledge of these should be spread by local networks and if reproduced would be useful to all. Devi Shetty's model of running cardiac care like an assembly line is a modern miracle in innovation as a result of which a cardiac surgeon can do 24 surgeries in a week and four surgeries daily. All hospitals can learn from his model. Another example: Heart transplantation in India has picked up over the years, but the cost is kept down by the surgeons by depending much more on frequent but low-cost echocardiograms for monitoring and less on costly endomyocardial biopsies. Again, these innovations need to be documented and their knowledge disseminated through the Indian journals and local conferences to the medical practitioners.

With this in mind, from this issue onward, we are starting a section of the journal called the “Honey Bee Section” which will publish innovative ideas which will be peer reviewed and can be just “brief off the cuff jottings” for really innovative ideas (since many of our senior physicians and surgeons will not have time to write a full article) or can be full articles if possible. We hope that this section will encourage the publication of innovative ideas related to diagnosis or management of cardiovascular disease, especially related to India.


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