Inspired by a plunger, new device cuts wound-healing costs

Wound-Pump application in Haiti--Courtesy of WiCare

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a finalist for the 2014 Hult Prize after developing a simple wound therapy device to improve the lives of those lacking access to adequate medical care. Inspired by the simple design of a toilet plunger, the Wound-Pump works as an ultraportable, ultracheap alternative to the negative pressure wound therapy benchmark of care. It's smaller than a soda can and weighs just shy of half a pound. It does not require electricity and the team showed during the 2010 Haiti earthquake that it reduces costs by more than 90%. The prestigious Hult Prize, which teams of college and university entrepreneurs are eligible for, goes to the finalist that best tackles the issue of noncommunicable diseases in urban slums head-on. The MIT team is part of Worldwide Innovative Healthcare, or WiCare, which is a for-profit, social venture dedicated to provide affordable, technologically appropriate medical devices to underserved populations. Story

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