Little Devices at White House Maker Faire!


FOR RELEASE: 10:00am ET Wednesday, June 18, 2014

CONTACT: Anna Young, 614-271-2090


Washington, D.C.—At today’s White House Maker Faire, the Little Devices Lab of MIT announced the launch of MakerNurse Create, a community of health making tools and an inaugural DIY Medical Technology Conference to support health makers across the country.

New communities and tools will empower nurses to make and innovate to improve patient care. MakerNurse, an initiative of the Little Devices Lab at MIT with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is launching a new online community for Maker Nurses. The new platform will provide tools and resources to empower nurses to make and innovate at the bedside, improving patient care and health. The mission is to bring health and wellness technologies out of the black box so that every patient, every nurse and every caregiver can be a health maker.

MakerHealth: DIY In addition, MIT’s International Design Centre and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science will host the first ever DIY Medical Technologies Conference in the fall of 2014 to galvanize the design, fabrication, science and policies around democratized medical technologies. Health Making leaders from the fields of accessibility, diagnostics, environmental sensing, maternal health, mobile enabled medical devices, surgical tools, and policy will converge during this conference to explore the role of DIY as a design vehicle to expand access to health around the world.

“Over the last few years, DIY medical technology has grown as a movement and a design vehicle in medicine.” said Anna Young, from the Little Devices Lab. “We recognized that our own medical making research has friends around the world working at the intersection of making and health. We are thrilled to bring them together to explore how democratized medical device making can bring better care to patients.”

The event, hosted at the International Design Centre will include medical makers as patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals as well as DIY medical technology practitioners to share and explore what this new field can bring to our healthcare system. In the spirit of health making, the gathering will bring a number of advanced prototype and health technology fabrication pop-up workshops from leaders in the field such as DIY Ability’s John Schimmel and Professor Cole Galoway. The Centre’s proximity to several of Boston’s flagship hospitals and to the greater MakerNurse network around the country will allow participants foster 3-D printer-to-bedside collaborations to keep patients at the center.

John Fernandez, Co-Director MIT International Design Centre, Associate Professor MIT Architecture: “The IDC is reinventing the way we imagine, make, and explore new products, systems and services. We are thrilled to bring something as multidisciplinary as health to a conference at the Center that is the proud home of over 50 design and maker led projects ranging from diagnostics, building systems, material science and large scale infrastructure.”

In addition to the content agenda, MakerHealth will showcase fascinating health hardware projects from participants and the latest prototyping tools aimed at affordable, accessible, and open health hardware.
Registration is opening next month at

About Little Devices Lab

The Little Devices Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explores the design, invention, and policy spaces for DIY health technologies around the world. The lab is a pioneer in the fields of user-generated medical technology and construction set design theory. The award winning group’s research portfolio includes medical device construction sets, crowdsourced diagnostics, paper microfluidics, reconfigurable rapid tests, and surgical accessories for extreme environments. For more information visit

About MIT International Design Centre

The IDC is a premier scholarly hub for technologically-intensive design science, research and practice. It is a multi-million dollar center based both in Singapore and in Cambridge, MA, with academic and industrial partners from around the world. IDC faculty, researchers and students work together to design devices, products, systems, services and elements of the built environment that address strategic needs of the global community in the following areas: Design with the Developing World, Sustainable Built Environment, ICT-enabled Devices for Better Living. Additional research at the IDC focuses on the advancement of design process and design science, with the goal of developing new tools and methods for practice and education.