Humanitarian Makers Design

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Imagine having to design a medical device to support a broken wrist. On your own! From scratch! Awesome right? Or printing a medical device on the spot during surgery for doctors. Mind-blowing? I know. This is exactly how the participants of the medical device testing program organized by Humanitarian Makers Design in conjunction with Kumasi Hive felt.

The device testing was organized on 27th January, 2018 at the Kumasi Hive Event Space. In attendance were thirteen (13) curious and innovative participants who just could not miss the opportunity. Three teams were formed. Led by Kobina Abakah-Paintsil, each of the three teams worked individually on a medical device. The teams worked on a wrist brace to support a broken wrist during recovery, an Intravenous Therapy hook for IV bag placement and an otoscope for viewing the internal part of an ear respectively. The devices were printed using 3D printers manufactured by Klaks, with PLA (Polylactic Acid) filament. The questions that were asked during the printing seemed endless as the 3D printing experience was a first for most of them.

After the printing, the IV hook was tested and feedback was given by team members. There was a concession that the hook needed a sort of clip to close the hook to secure the IV bag.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoforming The wrist brace was warmed up in hot water and successfully reshaped to fit a wrist (a broken one was not available) a process known as thermoforming [insert link: ].

Lastly, the assembling of the otoscope took a while due to few challenges. After successful assembling, it was tested. Unfortunately, it did not work as expected. The light-emitting diode (LED) to light up the inside of the ear for diagnosing failed to work. As a result, expectations to see at least, an eardrum were cut short. The team was however not disappointed by this as they got to be part of the printing and assembling. The feedback from this program was relayed to Humanitarian Makers to help improve designs and foster new ideas.

Esther Owusuaa Addo

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