Our New Project: MakerNurse


Our team at Little Devices is thrilled to announce the MakerNurse Project!

Our goal is study the behavior of inventive fabrication among nurses in America—small everyday workarounds, hardware creations, and inventions made or imagined by nurses that hold the potential to improve patient care. In our work at creating technologies for easier medical fabrication we have gathered countless examples of nurses constantly being overlooked as hardware innovators in the clinic. Our aim is to change that. With the fantastic support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, we are meeting nurses from around the country who are examples of MakerNurse behavior.

Over the next six months, MakerNurse will be collecting stories from inventive nurses across the nation to better understand what drives them to innovate and how best to nurture the creative potential of the American nurse. We have some other fantastic partners including Make Magazine and hospitals around the country that are signing up to open their units for MakerNursing (you can still sign up)

In the last few years, our academic research at MIT led us thousands of miles away to find examples of DIY medical technologies being used in hospitals and clinics around the world. There was overwhelming evidence that many of the best medical makers were nurses. They are fearless. They are creative. However, they are also very quiet about it.

We began brainstorming with the Pioneer Team when Lori Melichar approached us about bringing our nursing efforts from global health to the American health system about a year ago.

As she puts it: “We know nurse innovators are out there, making things and using their imagination to solve problems, improve care and enhance the patient experience–whether it’s a paper clip model, an improved catheter, or a new surgical device in the works. We want to shine a light on those innovations and create a culture where nurse making is celebrated and encouraged.”

We have a website set up at http://www.makernurse.org where nurses can eventually talk about their stories of creative fabrication in the clinic. That said, that’s really only a part of our approach. We will be using the initial signals from the site to set up site visits in hospitals and clinics around the country to really understand why and how nurses make things. Eventually, our aim to create tools and resources that can help them do this better, instead of having to rely on outside designers to take over their original solution space.

MakerNurses, we know you are out there! Let’s meet up!

Project Link: www.MakerNurse.org

Press Release

2 responses to “Our New Project: MakerNurse

  1. Technology advancement has become such an important element to the medical field, providing a dynamic platform of never-ending possibilities. By encouraging nurses and allowing them to use their problem solving skills they are able to present their creative ideas. Providing nurses with the tools to share their inventions may evolve medical practice in the future, improving the patient’s experience across the nation or even the world. The project is a great way to welcome a different perspective of medical technology. Gathering information on the path the nurses have taken to build these innovative ideas to make a difference is also another interesting topic. Sharing knowledge that may be propagated will lead to a chain of innovative creations and further contributing to the ever-evolving world of technology.

  2. Pingback: Inventing Apps at MIT Media Lab | The Digital Collaborative·

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