Sunday, February 13, 2011

MEDIK: Dispatches from the Field

From the IIH Blog:

It’s 91 degrees in Managua this Saturday afternoon and we are on the last leg of our train-the-trainer modules for MEDIK. We’ve spent more time abroad the last two months than an MIT. That’s about the change with the start of the semester. This weekend, we’ll be working Ocotal’s district hospital introducing healthcare workers to two new kits: Vital Signs and Prosthetics. [udpate: we just passed an Iguana crossing]

To recap MEDIK—Medical Design and Invention Kits are a series of lab-in-box kits that serve as “Erector sets” for medical devices. Our approach is nurter inventive behavior amongst “McGuyver docs and nurses” working in global health. We already know that they are coming up with ingenious ways around everyday problems.

For Vital Signs, we are going to introduce a series of components that make up an EKG, electronic stethoscope, some dopplers, and simpler point of care vital signs diagnostic such as pulse oximeters. Bear in mind, we’re not just giving them the final devices. We’re providing a toolkit that allows them to build these devices, add things such as telemetry and datalogging, and create interesting modifucations to make them mor rugged, modular, and useful for their settings. It’s giving them the solution space and the exciting part is going to be what they come up with in the next few days.

In the next post, we’ll talk about the Prosthetic Kit. You’ve never seen a fruit picker work like this before…