A major challenge of modern medicine is that the body doesn't absorb the entire drug dose given to a patient. Using nanotechnology, scientists can ensure drugs are delivered to specific areas in the body with greater precision, and the drugs can be formulated so that the active ingredient better permeates cell membranes, reducing the required dose.
Rich countries are investing heavily in nanotechnology for health. The first generation of cancer drugs delivered via nanoparticles, for example, has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
However, it is still early days for nanotechnology in healthcare and whether it will be of value to resource-poor countries is still hotly debated. Critics argue that when millions of people in countries like India or those in Sub-Saharan Africa are dying because of a lack of access to even basic healthcare, investing in cutting-edge technologies is a ludicrous waste of money.