Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center

Biosensor Designer for IIH


90% of all medical devices sent to developing countries fail within 6 months, because they were never designed to operate in those environments. Appropriate biomedical technology is an important and comparatively unexplored field of engineering compared to other developing world technologies. We are developing a set of field deployable prototyping kits for doctors and healthcare workers in poor countries to create their own medical devices. An important part of the project involves the design of a platform for measuring vital signs, connecting them with telemedicine instruments, and applying them to simulation technologies that allow doctors to practice emergency scenarios such as C-sections and intubations.

The Challenge

We have an opening for 2 motivated UROPs to assist the project in designing, prototyping, and testing a series of biomedical sensors that collect physiological parameters such as:

Successful designs will plug and play with the rest of our prototyping platform and will be easily embeddable in conventional medical devices (stethoscopes, bandages, pregnancy belts) and unconventional objects (stuffed animals, inhalers, objects in daily life that will interact with patients).

Qualifications, Preferences, Assets

Experience with designing, prototyping (such as Arduinos) testing and debugging electronic circuits (e.g. embedded systems combining analog circuitry, digital circuitry, microcontrollers and wireless communications). Experience with wireless sensors or protocols helpful (e.g. Bluetooth, ZigBee)

- Good communication skills
- Experience working on open-source projects helpful
- An interest in international development and medical technology

Time Constraints

This is a fall position with the opportunity to continue in the IAP and spring.

Jose Marquez Gomez
D-Lab Medical Instructor

PKG Center Support

MIT students who develop projects around these ideas may apply for support from the Public Service Center's Fellowships, Internships and Grants programs. Please check the program descriptions and deadlines and talk to program staff to determine which is most appropriate for your needs and project.

If you want to volunteer or you have funding from outside the PKG Center that enables you to work on this project, that's great! However, please do let us know if you work on a project you saw advertised here, even if you don't use our funds. And remember, the PKG Center staff are happy to advise on service projects even if we are not funding them ourselves.

Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room W20-549, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
Tel: 617-253-0742  ·  Fax: 617-258-9357
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