Design Group

Design group

The Design group  is a subsection of IGH designed to create a low-resource device annually with it’s purpose catered to medical needs in low-income areas.

2017 – 2018

In 2017 – 2018, we developed the idea of a low cost suction machine, useful for medical practices involving the extraction of bodily fluids during surgery.

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The Idea:

      • Selected a suction machine from an Engineering World Health survey of doctors about common medical devices they are lacking
      •  Used in surgery to clear operational site
      • Medical suction machines:
        • Clear airways of saliva, blood, vomit, or other fluid
        • Portable equipment costs $300 – $1000+

Our Creation:

    • Portable air compressors for tires have a motor which push air into a tire.
    • This flow is conserved, with a hole in the motor for sucking in the motor.
    • An attachment through this hole, with a hose and filter system adjusted for liquid usage was made and demonstrated to work to a certain standard.
    • This design is made with many objectives in mind:
      • Low cost – Most suction machines are extremely pricey, orders of magnitude more than our assembly
      • Ability to run on different sources: The tire pump was designed to run on the standard 12 Volt car battery, and has a power outlet adapter if needed as well
      • Easy to understand: This devices is simple enough and relatively easy to take apart and reconstruct, useful to overcome the barrier of a low number of technicians and engineers in certain countries
    • Car tire pump re purposed to provide vacuum. Our design was assembled for ~$60
    • Battery / AC power
    • Easily replaceable fluid collection bin


The design for 2018 – 2019 is side stream capnography

A capnography or capnometry device is used to measure the concentration of exhaled carbon dioxide also known as end-tidal CO2 (ETCO2). For a healthy person the range for ETCO2 should be 35-45 mm Hg.

The Need:

According to a study done by the Global Capnography Project this year, published in the journal Anesthesia.

There is a clear need for middle and low-income countries to have access to a simple and life-saving method of monitoring a patient’s breathing, called capnography.

11,000 potentially fatal anesthetic accidents could be prevented every year by access to a capnograph

Sidestream Capnography:

Side-stream: An indirect method of measuring exhaled CO2 in a non-intubated patient

  • Sensor located away from the airway
  • Gas moved to sensor by pump inside the monitor
  • Use with cannula or adapt for ventilator airway
  • Water traps, filters, or dehumidification tubing may be required

The project is currently underway in the prototyping phase

  • After many attempts to get the IR emitter working, the I2C protocol seemed to work with the emitter
  • A Proper holder for the device is currently being designed in SolidWorks
  • A Cannula is being fitted to the device’s opening and exit for circulation
  • The code is being written and a Adafruit screen is being coded to display the Co2 emission in standard forma