Plan C Live: Developing an Open Source Ecosystem for Medical Hardware

Maker News Open Source
Plan C Live: Developing an Open Source Ecosystem for Medical Hardware

Innovation is often born from adversity. Despite its many horrors, the pandemic has generated some beautiful human stories from collective efforts to address the crisis. One such story recounts tens of thousands of persons self-organizing into unpaid teams to address the pandemic by successfully making and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE). A parallel but no less daunting challenge has been undertaken by thousands of technologists, managers, medical professionals, and makers struggling to address ventilator and therapeutic oxygen shortages.

Date recorded: Thursday, September 24 @ 4pm PT / 7pm ET.

Just as the immune system learns how to fight threats that it has encountered, humanity must take stock of what we have been taught by the pandemic and learn how to better prepare for the future of COVID-19 and other crises. Join Dale Dougherty of Make: Community and Dorothy Jones-Davis of Nation of Makers to speak about the open source ventilator project and the possibilities of creating an open source ecosystem for medical hardware with:

  • Robert L. Read, Ph.D. founded Public Invention in 2019, 35 years after first being inspired to do so by Buckminster Fuller. He is a professional computer programmer and manager, and amateur scientist, physicist, and mathematician, mycologist and electrical engineer. He speaks Esperanto fluently. He hopes that 20 years from now you will be able to go to a party and say, “I’m a Public Inventor” and have everyone know what that means.
  • Mark Roden, Ph.D, helped to found Tetra Bio Distributed in July of 2020 after joining Helpful Engineering in March, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  During the course of the pandemic, he has been working with a dedicated team of volunteers to produce high-quality open source hardware under the guidance of several clinical partners.  He is a professional data scientist, software engineer and engineering manager currently working for LiveNation, when not volunteering his efforts to work on open source medical devices.  He used to be an avid street photographer, in the time before the pandemic.
  • Burhan Qaddoumi is a founding member of and the Design & Simulation Engineer at Tetra Bio Distributed. As the events of the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, he began applying his skills towards open source medical projects. Primary open source contributions have been in the areas of 3D design, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), research, writing, and coordination between engineers.
  • Victoria F. Jaqua, RT(R)(CT), RCIS, is a radiologic technologist specializing in cardiac procedures and staff education. She is the Medical Team Co-Lead for Open Source Medical Supplies, which has been instrumental in supporting open source designs created by and for the international medical community.
  • Angela Forgues, MS, MSPH, Head of Medical Research, Open Source Medical Supplies.
  • Khadija Ameen and Benjamin Treuhaft are the Co-CEOs of Helpful Engineering, an NFP supporting a global community of more than 18,000 members spanning diverse disciplines across hardware and software development, engineering, clinical medicine, research science, academia, makers, business development, among many, many others. Khadija holds degrees in Electrical Engineering with specialties in Energy and Commercial Power, an MBA, and has a significant background in Global Management Consulting. Benjamin is a former Advertising Executive with an emphasis on Technology and Solution designs for improved process efficiency and productivity. Together they continue to design and guide Helpful towards being a place where anyone can come with a defined challenge, explore solutions through the exchange of ideas, learn how to design and implement it, and with community support ultimately produce a well-described solution understandable by the public, governmental and commercial entities, with the goal that better solutions to real problems get designed faster with less risk, which in turn improves chances that a solution might make it to deployment and ultimately be “helpful.”

Read more about The Pandemic-inspired Case for an Open-Source Medical Hardware Ecosystem and Read’s work ranking open source ventilators, along with collaborators Geoff Mulligan, Lauria Clarke, Juan E. Villacres Perez, and Avinash Baskaran, here.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee