If necessity is the mother of invention, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers Anna Young and José Gómez-Márquez figured they would find cheap, practical innovations in the small Nicaraguan town of Ocotal, 3,000 miles from Cambridge. The object of their 2011 search was to find creative doctors delivering quality care at low cost by using locally procured fabrics, electronics and other supplies.
“We thought we were going to find MacGyver-like doctors coming up with their own medical devices,” Young said. But after more than five months of searching, “we couldn't find said doctors anywhere.”
What they found were nurses.
From IV alarms made from parts of deconstructed electronic toys to goggles to protect the eyes of neonatal patients undergoing phototherapy treatments, they found nurses “MacGyvering” ideas left and right.