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Doctor in Blockaded Gaza invents 3D-Printable cost effective stethoscope

Posted in General, and Technology

Dr.Tarek Loubani, an emergency room doctor in Gaza, wants to apply the principles of open source software development to out-of-patent medical devices.

He said, this stethoscope can be made for just $2.50 — a fraction of the cost of leading brands — and some doctors say the equipment is just as good.

3D seth

The shortage of basic medical devices in the isolated Palestinian territory ” is something that I think we can translate from a big problem to a big win for us in Gaza,” said Loubani, head of the Glia project.

The device was tested in a process during the test, which measures how much sound is transmitted at each frequency, the stethoscope is pressed against a balloon filled with water before sound is transmitted through the balloon. The abundance of cat-branded balloons available in Gaza at the time led to that nickname.

sethescope test

“This stethoscope is as good as any stethoscope out there in the world and we have the data to prove it,” Loubani said.

Loubani foresees a future in which lifesaving medical devices, like dialysis machines and electrocardiograms, can be 3D printed around the world for a fraction of their former cost. Inspired by the open source software movement, he keeps all his code on GitHub and encourages doctors and hardware hackers to contribute to the project in a collaborative way.

“We made a list of these things, that if I could bring them into Gaza, into the third world in which I work and live, then I felt like I could change the lives of my patients,” he explained. “I wanted the people I work with to take it, and to print it, and to improve it because I knew all I wanted to do was bring the idea.”

The Glia team is focused on developing the three most ubiquitous and expensive medical devices—the stethoscope, a  pulse oximeter design that monitors blood oxygen levels, and an electrocardiogram for cardiac patients. Loubani explains, will use “PCBs [printed circuit boards] designed to be easy for people to make in low-resource settings with simple methods like toner transfer.”

This test graph shows that the Glia model stethoscope produces higher volumes than the standard at a wide range of frequencies. Image: Glia Project
This test graph shows that the Glia model stethoscope produces higher volumes than the standard at a wide range of frequencies. Image: Glia Project.

Loubani wrote that he sees himself following in the footsteps of the free software movement, and he aims to replace expensive proprietary medical solutions.

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