Around the world the leading cause of death in children under five is pneumonia. In the U.S. doctors have the tools to easily diagnose and treat pneumonia. But in developing countries the tools are not easily available and therefore pneumonia in young children often goes undetected until it is too late. Luckily a new device is hoping to change that. A Massachusetts based company called Design that Matters is using 3d printing technology to create an affordable device for detecting pneumonia. The Pelican pocket pulse oximeter allows doctors to easily check the oxygen levels in infants, which could help save lives in developing countries.
Currently prototypes of the device are being made using 3d printers. 3d printing allows for the device to be made affordably, therefore developers can quickly and easily test out their designs in local hospitals. The current prototype has already been demonstrated in a hospital in Boston and the developers have taken what they’ve learned from demonstrations and discussions with doctors in order to further improve their prototype. The prototype was also taken to hospitals in Haiti to see how it would be used in developing countries. The Pelican pocket pulse oximeter shows how 3d printing can be used to easily create and use prototypes affordably. This means that the final product will be better and the price will still be affordable enough for it to be sent to developing countries all over the world.
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