MedCity News reports that John Sealy Hospital, in Galveston, Texas, part of the University of Texas Medical Branch, has opened what is being called the nation’s first “makerspace” for healthcare providers, with the target in this case the nursing staff.
“It’s dedicating a space to supporting them in making things more comfortable for their patients and in making them more efficient,” David Marshall, chief nursing officer at John Sealy, told MedCity.
The lab was built by MakerNurse, a Boston-based project that “encourages nurses to innovate and take advantage of others’ innovations in healthcare; MakerNurse grew out of MIT’s Little Devices Lab in 2013, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”
“The 200-square-foot room is stocked with a sewing machine and items such as Velcro and tape to help nurses hack healthcare. MakerNurse suggested clinicians might make ‘cough pillows’ by wrapping blankets in medical tape or cut IV shields to make them more comfortable for patients.
“Then there is the advanced technology: 3-D printers and laser cutters. These devices have a steep learning curve, Marshall said, so MIT sent engineers to Galveston while the hospital looks to hire a shop manager.”