Medical equipment can be expensive and procuring it can be a challenge in less developed countries. Dr. David Walmer, a reproductive endocrinologist at Duke University, and a team of researchers has been developing a basic colposcope that can be built out of easily and cheaply acquired items, to check women for signs of cervical cancer.
The News & Observer out of North Carolina reports:
More than 10 years ago, he [Dr Walmer] decided to come up with an inexpensive scope that doctors could use anywhere — in clinics or remote villages. He felt that if doctors could afford the tools and carry them to patients, more women could be diagnosed and treated.
Now, Walmer is working with engineers at Applied Technologies Inc., a small firm in Cary that has designed a variety of industrial and medical products. Richard Daniels, the project engineer, has been tinkering with the basic model and is now assembling 10 prototype scopes with items the team has gathered from ordinary sources.
To keep costs low, they use $10 binoculars mounted onto the plastic headgear stripped from $16 hard hats. The optics are altered with lenses cut from $2 reading glasses. Daniels and students at N.C. State University, working for community service credit, solder the wiring to a battery pack that is mounted on the side of the head gear.
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