eHealth – Maker Spaces, Open Manufacturing and new possibilities


Photo credit: Dino Fracchia

Digital technologies in the health sector are not a novelty in developing countries. Digital applications can foster transparency, efficiency and participation, and thus contribute to improving healthcare in developing countries. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) enable a more reliable birth registration and thus a better social insurance. Mobile applications generate access to information on taboo subjects such as HIV and unwanted pregnancies. Telemedical solutions enable diagnosis over long distances.

Around 400 million people globally still do not have access to vital healthcare such as obstetrics or clean drinking water. Hospitals are especially hard to reach for people living in remote areas in developing countries. Often these hospitals are not adequately equipped as well. The poorest of the poor  frequently do not have access to sufficient medical care. Digital technologies can offer solutions to these challenges. This is particularly relevant in fragile contexts, when supply chains are long and replacement parts and other medical equipment are scarce.

Organizations such as Field Ready work on solutions to these issues twith local entrepreneurs and makers to provide for instance replacement parts for medical care via 3D-printering in crisis or conflict areas. Another non-profit organization called CADUS e.V. came up with an equally innovative solution: they build a ‘mobile hospital’, which can be transported by truck. In northern Iraq and Syria, such solutions enable local need-based production.

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Guest article by our partner BMZ.