Teen Inventors Saving Lives


Sometimes the best solution to problems come to inquisitive minds that can redefine the issue and recognize new paths to solutions.  Often these solutions are adaptations of something already known to a new area or they are creative innovations that provide breakthrough resolution to a new or existing problem.  Often the mind that brings the insight to the world would be considered less than an expert in the field and tend to to be under the age of 30.  In some instances the invention is created by an individual under the age of 20 and often the focus on social or health issues.  This is really exciting because these teens are thinking outside the box to create solutions to medical problems that change the world and help to save lives. Below are examples of inventive young entrepreneurs who have solved complex medical issues with devices they have created themselves.

Catherine Wong

Need a medical checkup but can’t get to the doctor? Whether you live in a remote area or just want to keep tabs on your heart, Catherine’s invention attaches to your cell phone and allows you to measure your heartbeat. Catherine’s device allows you to take a test called an electrocardiogram which can alert users to irregular heartbeats which would give them time to seek medical help.

Tony Hansberry

Tony is a student at the Carnell Cookman School of Medical Arts which is the first American school to have an integrated medical curriculum. Tony developed a new suture method which radically reduces the time it takes to perform a hysterectomy. This makes the procedure safer for patients and it reduces the recovery time and cost of the operation.

See the video here.

Jack Andraka

Jack may be just a freshman, but his future is already looking bright. He recently won the $75,000 grand prize at this past spring’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair becoming the youngest participant to do so. Every year, 40,000 people die of pancreatic cancer as it is one of the most lethal cancers, with a five-year survival rate of 6 percent. That may be about to change with Jack’s new invention which comprises a small dipstick probe that utilizes 1/6th of a drop of blood to accurately see if the patient has cancer. The test is easy to administer and only takes five minutes to complete.

Suman Mulumudi

15-year-old Suman attends Lakeside School and has built two medical devices that would reduce healthcare costs and improve accuracy. Suman has built the Steth IO which is a device you can add onto a smartphone which turns it into a stethoscope which is far more accurate than traditional stethoscopes.

His second invention aids in the administration of angioplasties; a procedure that clears blocked arteries. Here lesion in arterial tissue have to be repaired using a stent. The hardest part of the procedure is placing the stents in the correct places. Suman’s device helps to measure the length of the lesions so that accurately sized stents can be used thus reducing the need for repeat hospital visits.

Suman’s invention uses a microprocessor from an optical computer mouse and combines it with 3D modelling and printing to create the LesionSizer which measures the length of the arterial lesions for more accurate results.

Note: Adapted from a post originally published 4/21/2014 on the Tutor Doctor Corp. blog

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