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Makerspace debuts in Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Aaron, a teenage Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford patient, was tired of having nurses and doctors pop in and out of his room without warning.

"I thought it would be great if you could control that a bit more," Aaron said in a recent article on Packard's Healthier, Happy Lives Blog. Aaron was able to act on his idea, thanks to a new experimental makerspace, called the Innovation Pop-up Space, that opened in the hospital recently.

Aaron explained his invention, a cell phone-controlled privacy doorbell, during a visit by Adam Savage, of "Mythbusters" fame. The post explains:

The doorbell attaches to the outside of a patient’s door and can be controlled by patients from their beds, allowing them to communicate with nurses and other visitors using unique commands. 'Go away!' or 'Come back later!' are just some of the auto-programmed responses that are at patients’ fingertips, and they can be changed depending on how patients are feeling in the moment. The highlight of Savage’s visit was when the group tested the doorbell for the first time and it worked!

A Packard volunteer, Gokul Krishnan, PhD, was involved in creating the space, which he is hoping to use as a form of "maker therapy."

“The goal of maker therapy is to provide a unique space that will not only stimulate patients’ creativity but also serve as a therapeutic environment for them throughout their treatment,” Krishnan said. “It’s a makerspace, an innovation space, a collaboration space and, above all, a healing space where patients can think about something other than their health and feel like they are part of a community.”

He plans to work with Pam Simon, director of the Stanford Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program, where the makerspace is located, to study the effectiveness of the program and to potentially introduce it in other children's hospitals.

For more, check out the post for a fun video featuring Savage and the development of Aaron's doorbell.

Previously: Manu Prakash on how growing up in India influenced his interests as a Maker and entrepreneur, New Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to open in December and Pediatric cardiologists bring virtual reality to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford

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