Open Source Medical Devices

The Open Voice Factory is an Open Source Medical Device, so when I saw a video called “Are We Ready for Open Source Medical Devices?” from Hackaday, I was interested. Althought Ashwin is much more hardware-focused than we are, but it’s worth watching the whole video, and my main highlights were:

  • Ashwin gives a nod to the difficulty in registering medical devices “More than the topic of a PhD” – I’d aggree with that, registering a medical device has been by far the hardest part of bringing Open Voice Factory to people.   It was interesting to me that Ashwin starts by saying he’s going to avoid talking about it, and then is forced by the topic to keep aluding to it right through the talk. I particularly liked (paraphrased) “The countries we want to work in don’t have standards anyway”
  • “about 90% of the world’s investment in medical research benefits only the most affluent 10% of its population” – that’s pretty awful.
  • There are *cheap* medical devices, but it’s hard to trust them – poor documentation and ‘questionable compliance’.   This was a reminder for me – I tend to think about Open Source being ‘cheap’ (because it’s free) and standing in contrast to expensive but much more well supported commerical solutions.  That’s true, but it’s incomplete – there are also ‘bottom of the market’ manufacturers that are also ‘cheap’ but also low quality.
  • “If it’s NOT easy to deploy, it’s NOT relevent”

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