Kewl Design Alert: Low-Cost Medical Devices Made From Everyday Items (video)
Medical equipment is crazy expensive. Which means that they can be difficult to obtain or deploy in less-privileged areas. Luckily at MIT, the Innovations in International Health program is doing the most incredible work.
For example, they are building machines that use much cheaper, everyday types of tools and parts. Like using a bike pump power an asthma treatment machine, or using Lego to mold chips for labs.
One really kewl devise is the PortaTherm, described on the MIT site as "a portable incubator designed to be lightweight, affordable, and usable where electricity is unavailable and unreliable. PortaTherm exploits the fact that materials maintain a constant temperature as they change phase from liquid to solid." So simple, and so effective.
Check out this CNET interview with Jose Gomez-Marquez, Program Director, as he demos some of these great inventions: