…On earth and among the stars
By Brian Orlotti
Founded in 2016 by Canadian physician Dr. Julielynn Wong, Medical Makers is a groundbreaking global community of 150 innovators, patients and healthcare providers in over 10 countries who have come together to provide sustainable medical solutions using low-cost 3D printing technologies. This group of “digital humanitarians” promotes affordable, accessible healthcare that can save lives, time, and money.
Medical Makers have crowdsourced a digital library of quality-tested 3D printable medical devices that meet FDA guidelines (i.e., surgical instruments, medical supplies, rehabilitation aids) and will allow developing nations access to better healthcare, improving their citizens’ quality of life. In addition, members of Medical Makers host ongoing Medical Make-A-Thons worldwide, where volunteer teams work together on new designs for a digital archive to benefit humanity. At these events, hands-on training is provided, enabling participants to learn how to create their own low-cost designs of basic medical items, surgical tools and assistive devices. These items can then provide crucial aid for clinics and hospitals in the developing world, disaster zones or even astronauts on long space missions.
In 2019, Medical Makers will be sending two crews of Martian analog astronauts to the Mars Desert Research Station that will be able to 3D-print supplies for both deep space missions and rural communities here on Earth.
You can visit medicalmakers.org to register to work on projects, make a donation, or learn about Dr. Wong and her team’s continuing efforts towards creating affordable and innovative healthcare solutions through emerging technology.