Across the world, millions of babies die in the first week of life that could be saved with an incubator.  This has been known for a long time and incubators have been donated to developing countries.  The $30,000 incubators work well for a time but when they break, they cannot be repaired.  There are no parts and no money.  They are broken forever and babies die once again.

A company called Design That Matters (DTM)  asked ‘What equipment if any is easily maintained in the third world?’ The answer to that question is cars – more specifically Toyota cars. Most towns have garages with mechanics who can service and repair Toyotas. So DTM designed an incubator made out of car parts.  My point is that they created an empathetic connection to the hospital staff that had to maintain the incubators and to the parents of the babies in need.  They imagined the situation and saw the solution that was possible to the people in an area of limited resources.  Empathy engineering saves lives.

--Dave
 


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