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Culture of medicine runs on people power, not tech

The Atlantic, June 28, 2012

The Aravind Eye Hospital in South India, founded by Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy ("Dr. V") in 1976, is a group of hospitals and clinics renowned for performing hundreds of thousands of sight-restoring eye surgeries each year. Fans often suggest that Aravind's methodology could be applied to primary care, or that the model should be exported to the developed world. The "model," however, is not so easy to duplicate in part because it depends on hard-to-measure qualities that stump technocrats. At the Pacific Health Summit in London two weeks ago, where the theme was technology and affordability, I spoke with Aravind's chief medical officer, Dr. Rengaraj Venkatesh.