We’re on the starting leg of a 10 day trip to our H-Lab site in Nicaragua. We are following up progress of the MEDIKit deployments back in January, tracking down local medical hackers, and continuing the Solarclave, PortaVida, and asthma projects. In addition to Anna Young, Jackie Linnes (first from right) and Jose Gomez-Marquez (first from left) from IIH, Victoria Gerrard (second from right), an IIH affiliate through the Singapore University for Technology and Design.
We are excited because we have a few new projects that are not exactly done, but that’s the point of going to the field: to co-design with our field partners, in addition to need finding.
One of the most common instruments that you can find in a lab in the developing world is the spectrophotometer, a simple device that measures the change in color of a reaction as it goes through a blood sample (or other substances). They are usually over-engineered for what they are actually used for in the developing world. However, we’ve found that they are little the lab workhorses. A challenge for the lab is create a cheap one. First, we started by doing an tear down of a typical model found in Nicaragua:
We quickly concluded that was not a complicated device, or at least it didn’t need to be. So we’re making our own.
Paulino Vacas Jacques is an amazing engineer at IIH who is our optics wizard. In a few weeks after coming into the lab he made a sub $100 version of a spectrophotometer. We had to reassemble some parts locally, but thanks to Skype, we’re making it happen.
More on that on the next post! In the meantime, we’re off to Ocotal, Nicaragua.