This Sunday April 14, I will be talking about our journey into inventing construction sets for health and recent field insights from our partners around the world. If you are in New Haven this weekend and want to play with Legos, stop by our presentation:
63 High Street
Linsly Chittenden Hall (LC)
New Haven, CT
The conference is a huge gathering of global health practitioners from all over the world. It’s an amazing logistical feat every year! I’m already looking forward to talking with medical doctors who are out in the field where the action is, a group of Swiss inventors who’ve come up with a low cost X-Ray system, and students from the area and across the country who are eager to make a difference.
A few weeks ago, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta featured the Little Devices group. Watch the nebulizers, MEDIKits, and toys in action!
More at The Next List
Make Magazine’s Ultimate Kit Guide featured our MEDIKit platform in an article we wrote called “‘Design for Hack’ in Medicine”. What does this mean? Imagine a design philosophy that embraces transparent designs and leverages points in a device to guide how it gets modified by users. That’s the essence of our Design for Degrees of Freedom practice at the Little Devices group. Make allowed us to expand on the model and show real world examples in action.
Places like Nicaragua have some of the poorest areas on the continent. But what about Nebraska? What about healthcare at home? For years, health technology has been shielded from tinkering and DIY invention because of the perceived barriers to entry: you’re not a doctor, you’re not a biomedical engineer, you require professional supervision. Health equipment has to be safe and rigorously tested, first and foremost.
Medical invention kits have the potential to lower many of these barriers and put health hacking back into the hands of users and of patients — the people who have the most to gain from affordable and elegant innovations. As the developing world gets a head start on DIY medical technologies, we’ll see many of those user-generated inventions make their way back to richer countries.
More at Make
My recent contribution to the Make Magazine’s Blog includes our lab’s analysis of cautery pens. The Secret Life of Cautery Pens does a teardown of those handy, but pricey, surgical tools.
Soldering irons get hot. Light bulb filaments also get hot. Cautery pen filaments get so hot that they can cut through flesh effortlessly. Physicians routinely use them for small surgical procedures. Unlike a scalpel, a cautery pen uses the heat from the filament to both cut and seal bloodflow, which can minimize the risk of infection and post-op complications. They are available at most online medical suppliers for around $12 each.
[inside] I expected a transformer, some type of power converter, a super capacitor. Instead, $12 gets you the electronics complexity of a pocket flashlight. Maybe they weren’t so special after all?
Aah, the tips. Maybe the tips are in fact special, some sort of complex alloy that’s optimally designed to heat up using two AA batteries. That would justify the price, and why the manufacturers can rack up the cost of a reusable one to $24.
More at Make