SlideShare a Scribd company logo
Open Source Biomedical Engineering 
for Sustainability in African Healthcare 
Combining Academic Excellence with Innovation 
C. De Maria, D. Mazzei, A. Ahluwalia
Healthcare quality in Africa 
The scarcity of accessible quality healthcare 
in sub-saharian Africa: 
• lack of resources 
• lack of adequately trained biomedical engineers 
[Mullaly, 2008] 
– A lack of clear common understanding of the BME 
as a field of study 
– Limited or lack of human capital or resources to 
teach advanced (3rd -5th year) BME courses 
– Poor linkages between the medical and 
engineering faculties 
– Lack of medical device industry in Africa 
– Over reliance on foreign companies to repair and 
design instrumentation. 
ACADEMIC 
STRUCTURAL
Past Experience: ASIALINK project 
• Development of Core Competencies in the areas 
of Biomedical and Clinical Engineering in the 
Philippines and Indonesia 2005-2008 
• Long term and sustainable improvements can 
only come through: 
I. recognition on the part of policy makers, of the 
importance of on loco trained experts capable of 
managing and repairing biomedical equipment and 
II. development of expert skills through individualized 
programmes that cater to the specific social, 
cultural and technological needs of a region.
Present scenario 
• The world has completely changed with 
respect to 2006, when the ASIALINK project 
was considered a landmark in South East Asia: 
– Continuous connectivity (tablets, mobile phones) 
– Social networks 
– Free e-learning
The Open Source World 
• Open Source product, developed by a community, without a 
multinational brand now is not equal to un-reliable. 
• Industrial and trade secrets prevent exposing specific problems with 
medical devices [Bliznakov et al., 2007] 
• The open source has in the community an intrisic revision process 
OPEN ECG PULSE OXIMETER
Crowd-sourcing and crowd-thinking 
• Obtaining needed services, ideas, or content 
by soliciting contributions from a large group 
of people, and especially from an online 
community, rather than from traditional 
employees or suppliers. 
• The community becomes an active player, 
which analyses quality, reliability and 
feasibility.
What is a FabLab?
Sharing platforms 
EngineeringWorld Health 
www.ewh.com 
This platform does not 
teach locals how to create 
or innovate 
Thinginverse 
www.thingiverse.com 
This platform contains a 
repository of projects 
related to rapide 
prototyping. There is no 
quality control 
RepRap 
www.reprap.org 
Training offered for 
assembling own RP 
machine. Does not teach 
how to manufacture the 
device you need. 
Cooking Hacks 
www.cooking-hacks.com 
A summer school on do-it - 
yourself being organized in 
Spain. Generic, not specific 
to biomedical engineering
Sharing platforms 
• Although there are several resource sharing 
platforms available as well as several courses 
on RP, digital design and embedded 
electronics, none of these is dedicated to 
biomedical devices. 
• This is because biomedical devices must be 
designed first and foremost with patient 
safety and efficacy in mind.
Regulation and documentation are essetial
The Crowd 
• A groups of individuals trained and assisted by 
institutions of technical and higher education, 
to design, innovate and build together 
through sharing. 
• The Crowd can and should consist of 
healthcare providers, engineers and 
technicians. 
• Standards and regulations guaranteed by 
universities as the organ for control
The Open Source for 
Biomedical Engineering project 
• Giving BMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, through their 
universities, the tools and know-how in order to 
design, develop and maintain their own equipment 
based on the new open source revolution 
• Three main objectives: 
– the development of human resources in higher education 
in BME in Africa, 
– The creation of the OS4BME infrastructure 
– The making of a new genre of BME in Africa equipped with 
the capacity to exploit and develop innovative designs
OS4BME platform 
• A sharing, making and repository platform 
based on the customization and integration of 
already available web tool containing ideas, 
blueprints, FAQs and safety regulations for 
creating new, competitively priced and 
innovative biomedical devices. 
• Managed, regulated and monitored through 
an academic led pan-African organization 
• Fostering local economic growth
OS4BME concept
Teaching the Crowd phylosophy 
• OS4BME platform requires the creation of a 
professional BME working group, versed in the 
regulatory aspects of biomedical safety and 
standards, which is able to assess, vet and 
categorize projects, designs or blueprints and 
then make them available through the 
platform open repository.
BME today 
• Application of engineering concepts to 
unsolved problems in biology and medicine. 
• A great emphasis on niche subjects like MEMs 
and cell engineering and less on the learning 
of new, hard technology and equipment 
management, maintenance and repair. 
• Necessity of upgrading of curricula
Tools for Crowd-design 
• Three main areas of teaching, necessary to 
give a shape, a brain and to share the ideas: 
– Physical RP (3D printing) 
– Electronic RP 
– Content Management and Sharing platforms
Tools: Open 3D Printing 
• 3D printing (or Additive Manufacturing) is a 
process of making a 3D solid object of virtually 
any shape from a digital model. 
• 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, 
where successive layers of material are laid down 
in different shapes.
Tools: Open 3D Printing 
• RepRap: the first general-purpose self-replicating 
manufacturing machines. 
• Open source software: 
– Design 
– CAD/CAM 
– Control 
PRONTERFACE
Acknoledgments

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2014 03-24 - os4 bme idea

  • 1. Open Source Biomedical Engineering for Sustainability in African Healthcare Combining Academic Excellence with Innovation C. De Maria, D. Mazzei, A. Ahluwalia
  • 2. Healthcare quality in Africa The scarcity of accessible quality healthcare in sub-saharian Africa: • lack of resources • lack of adequately trained biomedical engineers [Mullaly, 2008] – A lack of clear common understanding of the BME as a field of study – Limited or lack of human capital or resources to teach advanced (3rd -5th year) BME courses – Poor linkages between the medical and engineering faculties – Lack of medical device industry in Africa – Over reliance on foreign companies to repair and design instrumentation. ACADEMIC STRUCTURAL
  • 3. Past Experience: ASIALINK project • Development of Core Competencies in the areas of Biomedical and Clinical Engineering in the Philippines and Indonesia 2005-2008 • Long term and sustainable improvements can only come through: I. recognition on the part of policy makers, of the importance of on loco trained experts capable of managing and repairing biomedical equipment and II. development of expert skills through individualized programmes that cater to the specific social, cultural and technological needs of a region.
  • 4. Present scenario • The world has completely changed with respect to 2006, when the ASIALINK project was considered a landmark in South East Asia: – Continuous connectivity (tablets, mobile phones) – Social networks – Free e-learning
  • 5. The Open Source World • Open Source product, developed by a community, without a multinational brand now is not equal to un-reliable. • Industrial and trade secrets prevent exposing specific problems with medical devices [Bliznakov et al., 2007] • The open source has in the community an intrisic revision process OPEN ECG PULSE OXIMETER
  • 6. Crowd-sourcing and crowd-thinking • Obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. • The community becomes an active player, which analyses quality, reliability and feasibility.
  • 7. What is a FabLab?
  • 8. Sharing platforms EngineeringWorld Health www.ewh.com This platform does not teach locals how to create or innovate Thinginverse www.thingiverse.com This platform contains a repository of projects related to rapide prototyping. There is no quality control RepRap www.reprap.org Training offered for assembling own RP machine. Does not teach how to manufacture the device you need. Cooking Hacks www.cooking-hacks.com A summer school on do-it - yourself being organized in Spain. Generic, not specific to biomedical engineering
  • 9. Sharing platforms • Although there are several resource sharing platforms available as well as several courses on RP, digital design and embedded electronics, none of these is dedicated to biomedical devices. • This is because biomedical devices must be designed first and foremost with patient safety and efficacy in mind.
  • 11. The Crowd • A groups of individuals trained and assisted by institutions of technical and higher education, to design, innovate and build together through sharing. • The Crowd can and should consist of healthcare providers, engineers and technicians. • Standards and regulations guaranteed by universities as the organ for control
  • 12. The Open Source for Biomedical Engineering project • Giving BMEs in sub-Saharan Africa, through their universities, the tools and know-how in order to design, develop and maintain their own equipment based on the new open source revolution • Three main objectives: – the development of human resources in higher education in BME in Africa, – The creation of the OS4BME infrastructure – The making of a new genre of BME in Africa equipped with the capacity to exploit and develop innovative designs
  • 13. OS4BME platform • A sharing, making and repository platform based on the customization and integration of already available web tool containing ideas, blueprints, FAQs and safety regulations for creating new, competitively priced and innovative biomedical devices. • Managed, regulated and monitored through an academic led pan-African organization • Fostering local economic growth
  • 15. Teaching the Crowd phylosophy • OS4BME platform requires the creation of a professional BME working group, versed in the regulatory aspects of biomedical safety and standards, which is able to assess, vet and categorize projects, designs or blueprints and then make them available through the platform open repository.
  • 16. BME today • Application of engineering concepts to unsolved problems in biology and medicine. • A great emphasis on niche subjects like MEMs and cell engineering and less on the learning of new, hard technology and equipment management, maintenance and repair. • Necessity of upgrading of curricula
  • 17. Tools for Crowd-design • Three main areas of teaching, necessary to give a shape, a brain and to share the ideas: – Physical RP (3D printing) – Electronic RP – Content Management and Sharing platforms
  • 18. Tools: Open 3D Printing • 3D printing (or Additive Manufacturing) is a process of making a 3D solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. • 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.
  • 19. Tools: Open 3D Printing • RepRap: the first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machines. • Open source software: – Design – CAD/CAM – Control PRONTERFACE