A year ago, nurses from QSNICH, a national children's hospital, approached us to see if 3D printing could be used to develop healthcare solutions throughout their hospital.
Nurses, it turns out, are also skilled part-time makers, often improvising on the spot with materials on hand to solve problems as they present themselves. However, with 3D printing, it is possible to solve these problems in a more permanent and precise manner, and then replicate these solutions accurately to be used on a larger scale.
So we began taking the concepts nurses presented to us, including a bubble-level used to calibrate bed height in the ICU, a needle disposal system, a child-friendly dermatology tool, and a blood clotting device, and began 3D printing prototypes for testing throughout the hospital.
We went through several iterations with the nurses over several months, who would provide us feedback throughout each step of the process so we could develop better solutions.