Students: Hunter Khan, Tor Tjorhom
Team: SolarSPELL Biomedical Technology Library
Nearly 75% of medical equipment across the developing world comes donated from wealthier countries, but it nearly never arrives with user guides or repair manuals. Patients die needlessly while doctors, nurses, and biomedical technicians don’t know how to use or how to fix this equipment. While many people believe that this situation could be addressed by providing internet connectivity, this is simply not the case: manuals are most often difficult to find, and frequently are not posted at all. The SolarSPELL initiative addresses this challenge, by combining appropriate technology (a portable, solar-powered digital library), targeted content (in this case, information on how to use and fix BMET equipment), and local capacity-building. For the past 3 years, teams of dedicated engineering students have worked to find and obtain permission to add these repair guides and user manuals for biomedical equipment likely to be found in rural hospitals and clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa, to the SolarSPELL BMET library. This semester, the team has focused on adding videos to the library, which can demonstrate in a visual, hands-on way, how to use and repair BMET equipment.