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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Life Sciences, volume 7, numbers 1 and 2, 2015 // View article lifsci_v7_n12_2015_2


Improving African Healthcare through Open Source Biomedical Engineering

Authors:
Carmelo De Maria
Daniele Mazzei
Arti Ahluwalia

Keywords: Biomedical Engineering; Open Source; Open Hardware; Crowdsourcing; Africa.

Abstract:
The lack of accessible quality healthcare is one of the biggest problems in Africa and other developing countries. This is not only due to the unavailability of resources, but also to the absence of a structured formative process for the design and management of healthcare facilities. Crucial to the effective and efficient exploitation of healthcare facilities and biomedical technology is the support of Biomedical engineers, who form the link between technology and medical practice. Indeed Biomedical engineers, together with nurses and doctors, form the pillars of healthcare systems in the developed world. In this paper, the Open Source for BioMedical Engineering (OS4BME) project and its kick off summer school are presented. The OS4BME project aims at developing a new generation of biomedical engineers, able to exploit emerging technologies generated by the recent "Makers" revolution. During the one week summer school, students from various sub-Saharan countries were introduced to these new design, development and sharing paradigms. Students worked together to identify new simple biomedical devices, which could help in daily clinical practice in their countries. A cheap and easy-to-use neonatal monitoring device was chosen as a Crowd design project. The OS4BME Baby Monitor was designed and assembled by the students during the one week summer school, demonstrating the creative potential of the new generation of biomedical engineers empowered with the paradigms of crowdsourcing and rapid prototyping.

Pages: 10 to 19

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2015. Used with permission.

Publication date: June 30, 2015

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2660

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