In recent years there have been astounding developments in the medical field. Open source projects have opened new opportunities as well as Hackerspaces/Makerspaces have even found their way into some hospitals around the world.
In 2013 Eric investigated the feasibility of using cheap off the shelf technology as a human brain interface (BCI). The project was documented via many YouTube videos. The project utilized a Mattel game headset to act as a real time EEEG and output the brainwaves values to use them within the Arduino micro controller as well as graph them visually on a laptop via the Processing program.
Although the resolution was not as advanced as a commercial/medical EEG unit, the project proved that it was indeed possible to use brainwaves to control a robotic arm directly. The project could prove valuable for “brain re-training” in patients with various brain injuries such as stroke victims etc. Patients often comment one of their largest frustrations was not seeing movement in their own body during recovery- this device could assist by providing at least some form of encouragement by seeing the successful movements. All code and information were shared open source for others to use.
Future projects utilizing this BCI system are in development as well as the utilization of 3D printing for prosthetics as well as immobilization systems for limbs (casts/splints) using blends of flexible and rigid plastics to better conform to a patients body.
In 2015 we began basic prototypes for a portable insulin cooler wallet. The wallet would allow diabetics to more easily travel with the insulin supply without the need for traditional refrigeration or ice packs. This model was subsequently updated since the video but requires more work before full instructions are published.
Another project currently being investigated is a portable standalone medical lab which will contain equipment for running basic lab cultures anywhere in the world regardless of infrastructure. This lab may enable expedited diagnosis of common diseases by culturing samples on-site instead of relying on distant medical centers to perform the culture incubation and reviews.
In 2016 we will be looking for collaborations on another diabetes related project whereby we are using statistical analysis of standard blood glucose samples combined with heart rate monitoring, pulse rate, blood oxygen level and physical activity. Currently insulin dosage is “guesstimated” by taking a blood glucose sample as well as review of carbohydrate intake.
Our hope is that using some basic hardware along with the existing blood samples and running some basic statistical analysis, we should be able to help a user make far more reliable estimations of dosage as well as long term trending to increase reliability and reduce likelihood of incorrect dosage (causes low and high blood sugar and undesirable symptoms)
If you would like to collaborate on this project please contact us via the mkme.org About page.