What it does
A low-tech centrifuge alternative, used to diagnose anaemic patients in rural developing countries.
Over two billion people are affected by anaemia across the globe, this makes the blood condition the largest nutritional disorder in the world, 30% of all humans on Earth are thought to be anaemic.
How it works
The theory behind the device is quite uncomplicated, once sufficient blood samples are collected into the provided capillary tubes, they are to be placed in a rubber casing and inserted into the pivoting centrifugal ‘arm’ and sealed air-tight with a lid. Once a balanced number of devices have been attached to the rear bicycle spokes, the bicycle can be ridden in a fixed or upside down position for an approximate time of 10 minutes until the blood sample begins to separate. This simple device has the potential to replicate the results produced by an expensive electric centrifuge in areas that are perhaps too underdeveloped or remote for modern medical equipment to be used. Africa does not need western medical donations, they need design specific to them.
Once informed about the blood disorder and the impact it was having in developing countries, I began to delve deeper into current blood diagnosis processes being used; analysing what worked, what didn't and what needed to change. I discovered current diagnostic methods were very prone to human error, and relied heavily on skilled staff to read the blood results being produced. This was to become my entry point. I began converging with a number of doctors, based both in the UK and in rural regions of Africa, discussing my design intentions and initial conceptual ideas; it was at this stage it dawned on me there were already superior blood diagnostic methods being used in western societies eg. an electric centrifuge. I would replicate western medical design theory and inject it into a product more suited for rural regions, such as those found in Africa. The design was to become a low-tech centrifuge, designed for developing regions found across rural Africa. In utilising the continents favoured method of transport, the bicycle; the device is able to provide a simple alternative blood diagnosis process that yields more accurate results.
How it is different
Louisa Ann Ryland (Shortlisted) - Travel Scholarship