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Anti-overkill: Low-cost, life-saving medical inventions on Wednesday published a list of five cheap, effective medical gadgets that are saving lives around the world. Among those is the $25 Embrace Incubator, created a few years back by a group of Stanford graduate students. The other four:

  • Sally Spinner: A hand-operated centrifuge, used to separate blood for transfusions and tests. Made from salad spinner (shown in image), plastic lids, a few combs, yogurt containers and glue gun.
  • Three-dollar negative pressure pump: Applies suction to wounds and accelerates healing. Made from plastic tubing, airtight bandage and bellows pump.
  • Peepoo disposable toilet: Single-use, self-sanitizing bags that render waste safe for burial. Made from degradable bioplastic and urea, a common, non-hazardous fertilizer that breaks down urine and feces.
  • Cell phone microscope: Scans biological samples and sends what it sees to hospitals, clinics and lab technicians for diagnosis. Made from standard cell phone camera, bit of software and $10 in spare parts.

The first three products were invented by students at Rice University, MIT and UCLA. The Peepoo bag is the brainchild of a Royal Institute of Technology architecture professor.

Photo by Muffet

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