Hack Chat Transcript, Part 3

A event log for Open-Source Medical Devices Hack Chat

Tarek Loubani

LutetiumLutetium 01/29/2020 at 21:060 Comments

Tarek Loubani12:37 PM
It took me almost a year just to ship in dummies for training. And we had to claim they were non-medical tools for displaying clothes or some oddity

Tarek Loubani12:37 PM
@Tammo Heeren : This was already happening. BUT, we got derailed by having to make tourniquets over the past two years.

Tarek Loubani12:38 PM


3D Printed Tourniquets Are Not A Cinch

Saying that something is a cinch is a way of saying that it is easy. Modeling a thin handle with a hole through the middle seems like it would be a simple task accomplishable in a single afternoon and that includes the time to print a copy or two.

Read this on Hackaday

Thomas Shaddack12:38 PM
can the egypt-side smuggling be leveraged? (disclaimer: my knowledge is based mostly on smuggling german computers through the iron curtain.)

Dr. Clint LeClair12:38 PM
@Tarek Loubani do u have an inventory of what you've got there? We print consumables for the low and high fidelty dummies

Tarek Loubani12:38 PM
That has a link in there to an article that I wrote explaining some of the challenges of a tourniquet in that scenario

Atom Atom12:38 PM
You can get 3D printer in Gaza but not Stethoscope?

Jim12:38 PM
The great thing about 3D printing is that it localizes production and distribution. It seems like this would improve the adoption of these devices. Have you seen investment it this technology and can business be made from this in LMICs

Jim12:39 PM
Or are these funded through a different mechanism

Tarek Loubani12:39 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : I've already been in jail in Egypt once, and not keen to make that happen again. The Egyptians are an essential part of the blockade, and they are not neglected. They shut down all the tunnel routes, and so right now the cost of tunnel smuggling is much, much higher than local production.

Tarek Loubani12:39 PM
@Atom Atom : We make Prusa i3 clones there.

Ryan Nibouar12:40 PM
@Tarek Loubani In places such as Gaza is there a need for telemedicine consultations?

Tammo Heeren12:40 PM
@Tarek Loubani Why not ship parts and assemble in Gaza?

Tarek Loubani12:40 PM
It's hard to get extruders and stepper drivers. otherwise, things are available there from other parts.

Tarek Loubani12:40 PM
@Tammo Heeren : What parts?

How are you getting supplies like filament in? Seems like that would be banned too.

Tarek Loubani12:41 PM
@Jim: That's a great question. I think Glia is proving that a business can revolve around local production for a poor market.

Tammo Heeren12:41 PM
@Tarek Loubani Parts of the Stethoskope.

Thomas Shaddack12:41 PM
the printing resins are basically just acrylate oligomers with reactive diluents and photoinitiators. i saw some (reportedly pretty lousy) material based on acrylated epoxidized vegetable oil. also saw mention of use of curcumin as a photoinitiator.

Thomas Shaddack12:42 PM
methyl methacrylate can be obtained by dry distillation of plexiglas.

Tarek Loubani12:42 PM
@Dan Maloney : Virgin plastic is banned. Gaza has a nearly 100% recycle rate of plastic. We get ABS and pull our own filament. We add as much virgin plastic as we can get through the local market, usually smuggled by somebody along the line.

Tarek Loubani12:42 PM


Thank you to the Filastruder team

Hello friends, I want to sincerely thank the Filastruder team for their help and kindness in getting our lonely filastruder up and working in Gaza. In short, it is impossible to get pre-made filament here, though ground / recycled ABS is relatively plentiful and the occasional virgin bag of plastic can be had when the southern border with Egypt permits it.

Read this on Soliforum

Thomas Shaddack12:43 PM
but it needs a polyfunctional network former. MAY be possible to transesterify on the methacrylate.

Tarek Loubani12:43 PM
We used a filastruder for a while.

Thomas Shaddack12:43 PM
otherwise the polymer formed will just dissolve in the monomer.

Tammo Heeren12:44 PM
@Tarek Loubani In general I think that printing things will be more expensive over the long run. It would be cheaper to mold pieces, send them to Gaza, and have them assembled there. In this would you could also have some resemblance of quality control.

Tarek Loubani12:44 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : Sounds complex, even for a guy who studied lots of chem in university :D

Thomas Shaddack12:44 PM
i saw in forensic literature clandestine labs that were more complex than what's needed here.

Tarek Loubani12:45 PM
@Tammo Heeren : I would also like a pony : D : D. Seriously, though, if we could get parts in, we'd get stethoscopes in and just standardize production like everybody else.

Tarek Loubani12:45 PM
There are two reasons not to do this.. one of them is that we're not just trying to create parts. We're trying to create culture.

Tarek Loubani12:45 PM
This means that people can manufacture, modify, and benefit from their own work.

Thomas Shaddack12:45 PM
same problematics there, getting products with desired properties from precursors that can be obtained in given time/place.

Tarek Loubani12:46 PM
We don't want an economy of scale. In medicine, part counts aren't high enough to necessitate that. 10K stethoscopes would be more than enough in Gaza.

Jim12:46 PM
I was curious about the 100% fill on the chest piece, It seems like and internal structure could be created to reduce the transmission of either external or rubbing sound

Dr. Clint LeClair12:46 PM
@Tarek Loubani "people can manufacture, modify, and benefit from their own work"...sending .stl files over is easy can the community help you in this regard?

Tarek Loubani12:47 PM
The second part of this is that these supply chains are easy to interrupt for any modern political or military organ. Which is what we're suffering from in Gaza, and what they suffer from in places like eastern Ukraine (russia), Bhutan (Nepal), Iran (US+others), Venezuela, Taiwan (China), etc.

Dr. Clint LeClair12:47 PM
help you in building the culture, not the parts- I mean

Thomas Shaddack12:47 PM
sending .scad files is even better. parts then can be parametrically generated, and dimensions added/subtracted to calibrate against the "personality" of the given printer/material combo.

Tarek Loubani12:47 PM
@Jim: When we ran the initial testing, we found that anything but 100% infill had TERRIBLE acoustics.

Jim12:48 PM
Note: There have been some fairly new public databases released [] for res

Jim12:48 PM
that could be used for respiratory sound analysis , classification

Thomas Shaddack12:48 PM
thinking about this a lot because as a child of the eastern bloc i have certain antipathy against goons attempting to impose their geopolitical will upon others, regardless who it is.

Tarek Loubani12:48 PM
@Dr. Clint LeClair : The first thing I would ask is that our supporters work in the open. Both releasing their own work and adopting open solutions first. Publish open.

Tom Nardi12:49 PM
@Thomas Shaddack I'm huge supporter of using OpenSCAD for open hardware like this. The barrier for editing/distributing the actual source for 3D models should be as low as possible.

Tarek Loubani12:49 PM
Openness is not enough. We also have to develop an economic framework that supports this kind of work. I don't have an answer here, but for example at Glia we look at the licensing fees for proprietary software and try to support FLOSS projects by donating equivalent amounts.

Tammo Heeren12:49 PM
@Tarek Loubani Ok. I get it. Quality control will become challenging under those circumstances.

Tarek Loubani12:49 PM
@Tom Nardi : YES! We also use FreeCAD

Thomas Shaddack12:50 PM
quality control could be achieved by adding testing methods to the documentation/design. so we get a printout (or other product) and have a howto for making sure it works as needed.

Tarek Loubani12:51 PM
@Tom Nardi : P.s., largely thanks to Hackaday's callout, we were able to almost completely remake the otoscope in FreeCAD:

Tammo Heeren12:51 PM
@Thomas Shaddack Can you get the necessary testing tools?

Thomas Shaddack12:51 PM
for stethoscopes for example i'd go for a healthy heart and specify what must be heard and what artefacts must not be present. a signal analysis app may be handy here.

Tarek Loubani12:52 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : this is a coming problem for the otoscope... For the stethoscope, we ask people to have a well-calibrated printer and go from there.

Dr. Clint LeClair12:52 PM
thanks @Jim ...I was looking for something like this database for training purposes

Tarek Loubani12:52 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : Just an acoustic analysis of a broad band of frequencies is enough

Tammo Heeren12:53 PM
@Thomas Shaddack That is pretty subjective way.

Thomas Shaddack12:53 PM
...for even fairly complex axisymmetric objects, openscad has rotate_extrude() function. VERY useful. another very useful thing is hull().

Tom Nardi12:53 PM
@Tarek Loubani That's great to hear about being able to move the project to FreeCAD where you don't need an Internet connection or subscription just to edit the files. Very important for a project like this.

Tarek Loubani12:53 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : Hullelujah for that function : D

Phillip Scruggs12:54 PM
What platforms are typically used to distribute the designs? Original CAD files + .Stls as well. Im familiar with Thingiverse and GradCAD but Im not sure of how proprietary those platforms are. I use OpenSCAD for some parts Ive worked on.

Tarek Loubani12:55 PM
I try not to be too fundamentalist about this. Glia only releases in OpenSCAD / FreeCAD (and of course STLs). We release everywhere. But when people start with us, we encourage them to play with tinkercad or whatever catches their fancy. Once they get into it, then we migrate them over to OSCAD or FCAD

Dr. Clint LeClair12:55 PM
we used your otoscope concept to attach an old laptop button cam and mirror to put what the learner sees onto a screen for teaching purposes

Tarek Loubani12:55 PM
WE publish on EVERYTHING. github, thingibverse, wherever.

Tammo Heeren12:55 PM

Thomas Shaddack12:55 PM
old laptops are good source of little cameras. they are usually usb, powered from either 5v or 3.3v.

Thomas Shaddack12:56 PM
other such salvageable usb peripherals are touchpads (newer) and fingerprint readers.

Tarek Loubani12:56 PM
@Dr. Clint LeClair : INcredible! check this out too.. and maybe poke Frankie Talarico:

Tarek Loubani12:57 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : Amazing. didn't know that.

Thomas Shaddack12:57 PM
having a schematics for the given laptop, many are leaked to some service site, helps with finding out what wire is what.

Thomas Shaddack12:57 PM
older touchpads are PS/2. arduino ps/2-to-usb converter can help here.

Thomas Shaddack12:58 PM
...would a fingerprint reader help with reading finer structures on skin? not just fingerprint ridges but eg. mole profiles? (immediate idea, still green and unripe and likely sour.)

Dr. Clint LeClair12:59 PM
@Tarek Loubani thanks for the lead!!! will dig into that! My current white whale is a mirrored/cam embedded into an opthalmoscope for teaching purposes

Dr. Clint LeClair12:59 PM
hacked together one of course...couldn't afford the fancy one

Tarek Loubani12:59 PM
@Thomas Shaddack : Diagnostics like that isn't my area of expertise, but I can hunt it down more for you if you want to send an email along to me at

Tarek Loubani12:59 PM
@Dr. Clint LeClair : I imagine that would be possible with a panoptic or such.

So we're getting to the end of a really fast hour, and we have to give Dr. Loubani an opportunity to get back to work. Everyone should feel free to stay on and continue the discussion, though - the channel is yours, and the discussion seems to be going strong. I'll just say thanks to Tarek and Eli for coming on the Hack Chat today.

Elias Jaffa1:00 PM
@Dr. Clint LeClair There are a couple video-enabled panoptic-type devices out there you can check out

Tarek Loubani1:00 PM
I was just gonna say Eli is actually doing doctor work : )

Tarek Loubani1:01 PM
Thank you so much, Dan, for this opportunity.

Elias Jaffa1:01 PM
One example:

brian dolge1:01 PM
Have you worked at all with They have a number of printable medical devices, cord clamps, sharps containers, etc.

Elias Jaffa1:01 PM
And yeah, sorry for not being as involved as I wanted to be. Currently on shift in the ED.

Tarek Loubani1:01 PM
Think of Glia and Field Ready as sisters.

Phillip Scruggs1:01 PM
@Brian thanks for providing that link. I was curious if others have resources like that available

morgan1:01 PM
super inspiring work, thanks for sharing

Elias Jaffa1:01 PM
But if anyone has questions for me, feel free to email

@Tarek Loubani - You bet, great chat! And just a reminder that next week we'll shift gears and talk about ham radio and keeping it relevant in the age of smartphones:


Keeping Ham Radio Relevant Hack Chat

Josh Nass (KI6NAZ) will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at noon Pacific Time. Time zones got you down? Here's a handy time converter! It may not seem like it, but amateur radio is fighting a two-front war for its continued existence.

Read this on Hackaday

Thomas Shaddack1:01 PM
there are tiny cameras on ebay. 4 to 8 mm diameter "endoscopes". lightweight, 640x480 to HD. usb interface, generic video-class, no special drivers.

Dr. Clint LeClair1:01 PM
have to get back to banging the rack, thank you for doing this chat...@tarek and @Elias Jaffa , I'll reach out to you later in the this a good contact? or is there one for

Tarek Loubani1:01 PM
We call on FR when we want non-medical stuff. Their bucket, for example, or their ability to move supplies is incredible. We try to focus more on the medical side.

Tarek Loubani1:02 PM
Glia's is

Dr. Clint LeClair1:02 PM

Elias Jaffa1:02 PM
Thanks to all for the great questions and answers!

Dr. Clint LeClair1:02 PM, if call jams me up