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Innovation Expert Eric von Hippel Shares Interesting Inventions

Prof. Eric von Hippel of MIT, famous for his research on innovation, shares some recent medical innovations that have caught his attention–he is teaching a MOOC that starts on June 1.

The MOOC, User Innovation: A Path to Entrepreneurship, offered on the edX platform, is starting on June 1. Class Central reached out to Prof. von Hippel to ask about some interesting innovations he’s heard about recently. He replied with several examples of novel medical inventions that were made, not by companies with huge R&D budgets, but by ordinary people, in this case, the patients themselves. Here are three of them:

1. NightScout – a DIY kit to remotely monitor a diabetic’s glucose levels

Nightscout (CGM in the Cloud) is an open source, DIY project that allows real time access to a Dexcom G4 CGM from web browsers via smartphones, computers, tablets, and the Pebble smartwatch. The goal of the project is to allow remote monitoring of the T1D’s glucose level using existing monitoring devices.


2. e-NABLE – a 3D-printed prosthetic hand

e-NABLE is a global network of volunteers who are using their 3D printers, design skills, and personal time to create free 3D printed prosthetic hands for those in need – with the goal of providing them to underserved populations around the world.


3. Dymedso, a novel therapy to help Cystic Fibrosis patients

The Frequencer is a digitally controlled acoustic airway clearance device that promotes bronchial drainage by inducing vibrations in the chest wall of a patient. The device provides a gentler, less painful form of therapy for patients than the traditional “clapping” method of postural drainage therapy and is less demanding for physiotherapists responsible for providing this therapy.



Bonus #4. Wingsuit, just because it’s cool…


Are you are interested in the power of ordinary people to develop innovations? If so, you can take User Innovation: A Path to Entrepreneurship, which starts this week on edX.


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