March 30th, 2012
04:35 PM ET

Make your own medical device! Why not?

Editor's Note: Jose Gomez-Marquez is the Program Director for Innovations in International Health at MIT and heads up the Little Devices group, where he uses toy parts to create inexpensive medical devices for developing countries. Watch The Next List’s full profile on Jose Gomez-Marquez, Sunday July 15th at 2 p.m. ET on CNN.

By Jose Gomez-Marquez, Special to CNN

Have you gotten caught up in the endless healthcare debate that can lead to comparing our healthcare system with France, the UK, or even Cuba? Our work in medical device research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pointed to healthcare lessons in unexpected places: Nicaragua, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and even suburban hacker spaces in America. What they have in common is their development of do-it-yourself (DIY) medical technology.

We are and have always been a nation of makers. Along the way, someone told us that healthcare technology was off the table. But we have the technology, the hardware, and the prototyping resources to change that and bring down healthcare costs. Now, we have to recruit everyday inventors that are not part of the conventional “medical industrial complex” - the types of inventors we find all over the developing world, saving lives every day. FULL POST

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Filed under: Science • Social change • Tech • The Next List • Thinkers • Video
Nanotube fabric could let you charge your phone by walking
Wake Forest graduate student Corey Hewitt works with a sample of thermoelectric fabric in the school's Nanotechnology lab.
March 30th, 2012
08:25 AM ET

Nanotube fabric could let you charge your phone by walking

By Doug Gross, CNN

What if you could power up your smartphone with just a brisk walk?

That’s the promise of Power Felt, a new creation of nanotechnology researchers at Wake Forest University.

It’s a fabric, made up of tiny carbon nanotubes locked in flexible plastic fibers, that uses temperature differences to create a charge. FULL POST

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Filed under: Innovation • Science • Tech