MakerNurse offers workspaces, materials and support to help nurses make more effective custom hospital equipment.
DIY medical kits, such as an initiative developed to 3D print medical equipment after the Haiti earthquake, are being used to solve immediate and unique medical needs. Now in the US, MakerNurse is an educational workspace that helps nurses build solutions to unique patient scenarios.
Nurses represent the interface between patient comfort and doctor treatment. This perspective often results in nurses being the first to react to unique patient needs, resorting to crudely customizing hospital equipment. Founded by the director of MIT’s Little Devices Lab, and a lecturer of device design also at MIT, MakerNurse acts as an educative platform — their ‘makerspaces’ help hospitals utilize nurses’ inventiveness by providing dedicated spaces and tools for developing and testing equipment. Their blog and website community encourage the free sharing of ideas, bypassing patent-chasing companies. They believe that daily making and urgent response is what leads to better care, not “grandiose ideas” that are incubated over decades.
By enabling nurses to safely customize equipment and share these ideas, MakerNurse is hoping to foster a culture of innovation at the frontline of medical care. Could other industries benefit from encouraging a DIY culture?