One of the foremost problems facing health workers in non-urban areas is a lack of access to medical technology. Many of the key instruments used in medical testing cannot be brought along in the back of a Jeep. In other words, sheer distance is contributing to thousands of people being unable to gain access to treatments which would otherwise be available.
One solution is a new instrument called the Paperfuge. Based on a simple toy, the whirligig helps address a lack of access to medical centrifuges. Centrifuges are massive, heavy, and expensive equipment that work by spinning samples at insanely high speeds to separate liquids, like blood, into their component parts for testing. Designers found that they could use the 125,000 revolutions per second of the Paperfuge to act as a temporary, portable replacement for studies that require centrifuge.
The initial tests of the Paperfuge look positive. It can separate blood samples in just 90 seconds using the small instrument; more astonishingly, after about 15 minutes of spinning, Malaria parasites can be easily identified within the samples. This low-tech solution to a high-tech problem could point the way to a future with better accessibility to medical care across the globe.
Read the full story here (via Upworthy)
Photo: City Lab
Since 2002, Seattle’s bus ridership has grown at a pace twice that of its population growth. Moreover, the Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation has stated that the city “can’t handle any more cars” than it currently has. The key will be to make buses more accessible to everyone—at the moment, only 25 percent of the city’s residents live near a bus stop. Now, with a new ballot to expand the bus network, close to 72 percent of residents will live near bus stops by 2025. (via City Lab)
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