Low-Cost Med Devices Could Save Millions of Lives in Developing World

Qmed Staff

September 24, 2013

1 Min Read
Low-Cost Med Devices Could Save Millions of Lives in Developing World

Low-cost medical devices could save lives in developing countries. At the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (London, England), engineers showed off a variety of simple devices that could improve sanitation, water usage and more in less-developed areas. Technologies on demonstration include a waterless toilet that used a biodegradable film to encase waste, an inflatable donkey saddle for pregnant women and a centrifuge that could be powered by hand."The question is how to provide affordable healthcare to seven billion people when over one billion are living on less than $1 a day. It's not just about cost cutting. It's about making things cheaper and better," noted one researcher.Since access to electricity, replacement supplies and electronics may be limited, ensuring that these technologies don't break or have complex parts is essential. Since there may not be technical expertise in the region where these devices are deployed, ensuring easy maintenance is essential.One device showcased at the conference, dubbed hemafuse, is designed to remove blood from a patient experiencing internal haemorrhaging. As blood is removed from the body, it is strained for clots and returned, without the need for complex training. This straining motion is accomplished through a built-in centrifuge.Since many developing countries only have limited access to donated blood, many physicians and healthcare providers practice autotransfusion, a process in which a patient's blood is returned back to the body. Without the use of a centrifuge, blood has to be removed through a "soup ladle" method and then strained with gauze. This can take 30 minutes for each pint of a patient's blood .With the new device, auto-transfusion can be completed by a single person in a safer, more efficient way.

Sign up for the QMED & MD+DI Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like