ReSurge was privileged to partner once again with Stanford University's Design for Extreme Affordability class. Twelve students, with educational backgrounds ranging from medicine to engineering to international policy, developed three new products to assist burn survivors in developing countries.
One product promotes physical healing. The second uses technology to improve patient outcomes and long-term care. The third helps local communities become more comfortable with the idea of skin donations.
The first group, called the HEAL Devices group, developed an affordable wound vacuum that uses “negative pressure wound therapy” to drain and promote blood flow in burns, trauma and other wounds. This therapy heals wounds three times faster, according to scientific literature, which can shorten hospital stays and get patients back to their normal lives more quickly. The HEAL device is designed to cost $200, a fraction of the cost of similar products on the market; moreover, it has a backup battery to enable use during power outages, a common occurrence in developing countries.
The second student group designed lifeRAFT, a research and follow-up tool (app) that will make it easier for ReSurge clinicians to keep in touch with surgical patients throughout their recovery process, and also to collect data. The application fills a key gap in post-surgical care by generating text messages for follow-up appointments and patient status. The lifeRAFT centers on the power of better data to improve care and analyze larger trends.
The third group came up with a way to expand on a previous group's project. One of the 2014 student groups had developed REAL SKIN, the first skin bank in Nepal for ReSurge. The skin bank received its first donation of skin this spring. However, officials needed to improve awareness of the skin bank and organ donation, both fairly new concepts in Nepal, to really start saving lives. So the third 2015 student group developed Extreme Awareness, a person-to-person model for building trust in skin donation. It encourages family consent by leveraging existing Rotary infrastructure to distribute and implement Champion-in-a-Box, a toolkit designed to build awareness, trust and a strong donor base. You can watch their first skin bank awareness video here.
This summer, all three groups will continue their research and test their projects with ReSurge partners in Bangladesh and Nepal. We are very thankful to Erin Connors, Kate Hopkins, Jessica Huang, Cam Hutton, Clementine Jacoby, Tiffany Kung, Cassie Ludwig, Jassi Pannu, Matias Rivera, Caitlin Roake, Scott St. Marie and Carrie Ting. We appreciate their incredible work to assist ReSurge and burn survivors around the world, and look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership.