The World Health Organization estimates that international donors fund nearly 80% of health care equipment in developing countries. Almost 70% of the donations are not in use because of lack of maintenance or spare parts, or because local personnel do not know how to use it, representing a tragic waste of scarce resources. This disconnect arises because of the substantial differences in resources, infrastructure, social and behavioral norms, and the healthcare environment. The typical biomedical engineer in the U.S. is unlikely to be familiar with the unique challenges of designing devices for resource-constrained environments. We have developed a structured methodology that takes into consideration pertinent anthropometric, contextual, social and economic considerations in the design of biomedical devices. This systematic approach involves a series of questions and real-world examples to aid in design exploration and ensure that every decision made in the design process can be defended by a well-informed rationale.
Peter Butler is a professor of bioengineering researching the role of cellular mechanobiology in vascular disease progression. He has become interested in medical device design for developing countries because of the potential that these projects have in educating undergraduate students in highly integrative engineering design under significant constraints, something all professional engineers need to know. He has taught a junior-level design course for about eight years with this in mind and... Read More →
Rachel Dzombak is a senior at Penn State University majoring in Bioengineering. Her research focuses on designing biomedical devices appropriate for use in developing countries. Her interest in the topic grew from time spent in Kenya working to implement a low-cost telemedicine system. The research and the design tool she created have been integrated into the curriculum of BIOE 401: Introduction to Bioengineering Research and Design, a junior-level design course.
Khanjan Mehta is the Director of the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program at Penn State University. His professional interests include innovative system integration, high-tech entrepreneurship and international social entrepreneurship. Khanjan loves connecting concepts, people, computers and devices. A basic philosophy behind his work is the convergence of disciplines, concepts, cultures, and countries to create a freer, friendlier, fairer and more sustainable... Read More →
Friday March 23, 2012 9:00am - 10:30am
Attendance numbers do not account for private attendees. Get there early!