Open source technologies are increasingly yielding innovative solutions in healthcare. And it’s not just the technology itself that is changing the healthcare landscape, it’s the open source community. As an example, e-NABLE, a global community of volunteers, is using open source technology and 3-D printing to create prosthetic devices for those in need, with the goal of providing them to underserved populations around the world for free. See the new documentary video Red Hat created to learn about how e-NABLE is using open source to change lives around the world, and expand possibilities in healthcare.
According to the documentary, e-NABLE is working to democratize prosthetics so that any amputee anywhere in the world has access to the designs. The e-NABLE community designs, fabricates and distributes open-source 3D-printed prosthetics with the help of open source software and an open source business model. Anyone with access to a 3D printer can buy basic materials, print the prosthetic with one of the community’s designs, and put the parts together for use. e-NABLE says that by using open source they can fast-track research and development, building on knowledge from a variety of collaborators in real time and getting prosthetic components in the hands of amputees at a faster pace.
Red Hat unveiled the documentary at the recent All Things Open conference in Raleigh, N.C. as part of our Open Source Stories film series. Innovative projects like e-NABLE’s may change the implementation of healthcare in many ways as we move into the future. What do you think? Will open projects like this democratize more of our healthcare resources?