the blog of a geek physician and mother


The openECGproject

"The openECGproject is an online community conceived around a simple, but challenging and worthy goal - to develop an open source hardware and software solution for electrocardiography .

This is essentially a playground designed for people of different backgrounds to put their minds together and create something that could make a difference in this world. It started as an itch that needed scratching, so Dr. Ivor Kovic initiated this community with high hopes that people who can make this vision come true will join and contribute to the project. Read more about the people behind the openECGproject."

Image from Gray's Anatomy


DIY videonystagmograph

A very useful thing to have and I will post my version eventually I promise.

Epley image courtesy


The definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2008

Make's list of open source hardware 2008. Including a lot of Arduino projects but also a self-replicating 3D-printer.


A business model for open source hardware

"The price of a typical gadget reflects two factors: the cost of making it and the price its inventor is charging for the intellectual property in it. Often the second can be many times the first (as in the case of an Intel processor chip, for example, which costs just a few dollars to make but can sell for hundreds of dollars)."

Chris Anderson, author of Free: The Future of a Radical Price which you can download free from Itunes or read on Google books.


OpenEEG hardware

The OpenEEG project has seen contributions from many talented hardware people over the years, resulting in several different designs which have been tested and tried by various people.


GOSH list of List of Open Hardware Projects

"The Grounding Open Source Hardware (GOSH!) Workshop and Summit at The Banff Centre bring together makers, producers and theorizers of open source hardware to facilitate the emerging dialogue on both artist-driven and socially conscious open-source hardware. From prosthetic limbs to electronic hardware, the breadth of open source hardware projects and distributed models of manufacturing suggest that it is time for these disparate manufacturers, designers, artists and engineers to come together to discuss the common issues of their practices."

The link to OSH projects is


Project HH1 – Low Blood Sugar Alert Device

Peter Semmelhack is building an open source low blood sugar alert device. It is built on the premise that low blood glucose levels will increase heart rate which can be picked up and transmittet to a pulse meter with an alarm.

Image courtesy of Jakob Suckale and Michele Solimena.


Peter Semmelhack, of Bug Labs, on “Hacking Health”

"I believe we need an open source movement dedicated to health care. In essence, I want to rally the same fanatical zeal that has helped build some of the best, most complex software systems (LAMP, etc) ever devised to help address some of the world's thorniest health care problems."

Peter Semmelhack


7 steps for building low cost open source technologies for global health

David Van Sickle, PhD, ( is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a friend to Global Health Ideas. He is the founder of Reciprocal Sciences LLC (, which specializes in the development of innovative public health tools and services. He kindly contribued this post to GHI which was posted on the PopTech blog a couple weeks ago.

1. Aggregate information on open hardware projects in global health to maximize participation and activity.

2. Involve students eager to learn and apply their skills to real-world health problems.

3. Develop innovative funding strategies that anticipate sizable requirements and unique opportunities.

4. Broaden participation to create non-obvious but essential project scaffolding.

5. This includes regulatory affairs.

6. Create global health technology incubators to advise and fund open hardware projects.

7. Help teams build and appropriately license solutions that are defensible against infringement claims.

His post in Global Health Ideas on building low cost open source health technologies suggest these seven steps:

Read the entire article here.


Open Spirometry

The objective of this project, started by David Van Sickle in January 2009, is to develop an open source, low cost, and clinically functional spirometer that measures lung flows and volumes. We envision a first generation device that connects to a computer via a USB port and guides and coaches patients through the testing using digital audiovisual clips.