Healthcare & Mobility Technologies
To get involved in the Healthcare and Mobility Technologies Community of Practice, sign up here and click "join this group".
Healthcare and Mobility Technologies (HMT) is EWB-UK's newest Community of Practice. Broadly speaking, HMT can be broken into two areas: healthcare and mobility.
Healthcare relates to the design, distribution and management of medical equipment used in hospitals and clinics. There are huge challenges when managing and maintaining medical equipment in resource-poor settings. Inappropriate design of equipment for use in extreme environments, poorly managed donations of broken or unsuitable equipment and a lack of basic training for technicians compound the issue. Lives are lost daily because of simple technical mistakes and failures.
Mobility relates to physical disability in the developing world, which can result in isolation from the community including primary education, and a decreased life expectancy. The technical help of EWB-UK in the design, manufacturing, and testing of prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchairs could be of huge benefit to this area.
Healthcare Design Workshops
As a first initiative of this new group, we plan to run regular design workshops to discuss, design and prototype healthcare technologies for the developing world. We will explore the challenges of healthcare technology provisioning, identify healthcare needs and explore how design could alleviate these challenges and meet these needs.
We will discuss current solutions and then focus in on the group’s particular interests. The work will lead on to the design and development of solutions identified by members during the discussions. Depending on the groups need and wants we would like to arrange appropriate speakers to fill any knowledge gaps identified, arrange workshop space to build prototypes and give members an opportunity to present their relevant work and gather feedback from the group.
If you are interested in the design workshops, please sign up to the group and send us an introductory email describing your background, interests and how you would like to contribute.
Below is a list of useful links including organisations which EWB-UK has already forged links.
Accessibility and Mobility
- Whirlwind Wheelchair International
- MIT Mobility Lab
- WHO guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less resourced settings
- Disability Knowledge and Research - Read the full report
- The Cambodia Trust
- Cerebral Palsy Africa
- Handicap International
- WEDC based in Loughborough do a lot on accessibility
- Disability and Development Partners
Hospital/Healthcare Equipment and Management
- WHO guidelines on healthcare equipment donations
- Amalthea Trust
- Aid to Hospitals Worldwide
- Engineering World Health
- EWH have some interesting initiatives such as this and this
- Institute of Engineering Technology Appropriate Healthcare Technologies Conference
- The Ranger Production Company have developed a motorcycle based ambulance, called the eRanger
- Diamedica - portable anaesthetic machines
- Health Partners International - specialists in health systems and management for resource poor settings
- JustMilk - they have developed a nipple shield which prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV during breast feeding
- Infratech is a very active discussion forum on hospital equipment in developing countries. Instructions on how to sign up can be found here
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