Help one, help many – that’s the philosophy of Not Impossible, a foundation which aims to develop low-cost solutions for health care issues around the world.
Elliot Kotek, co-founder of Not Impossible, joined Mike Walter in Los Angeles to discuss creating access for people in difficult situations through “technology for humanity.”
Their first project was the successful invention of the EyeWriter glasses, which was designed to help fully-paralyzed street graffiti artist Tempt One use his eyes to draw. Named one of Time magazine’s “Top 50 Inventions of 2010,” the open-source design is available online, providing an inexpensive, do-it-yourself solution for people all over the world.
When co-founder Mick Ebeling read about a boy in Sudan who had lost his arms after a bomb was dropped on his village, he felt compelled to help. Equipped with 3-D printers, laptops, and a crash course in creating a prosthetic, Ebeling flew to Sudan. He found the boy, Daniel, and built him an arm.
Their work didn’t end there. Ebeling and the Not Impossible team set up the world’s first 3-D printing prosthetic lab and training facility, in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, where they trained volunteers on how to make arms like Daniel’s for other amputees in need.
“For us, the solutions are such that if you’ve got the mind to do it, you can do it,” Kotek said.
Since the initial visit a little over a year ago, arms are now being printed at the rate of one per week, each for the cost of around $100.
“It shows that if you can do it in a solar-powered hospital, in the middle of a war zone, with a one-doctor place that’s servicing about a million people, then you can pretty much do it anywhere,” Kotek said.
To learn about Not Impossible, follow them on Twitter: @notimposs
Follow Elliot Kotek on Twitter: @ElliotKotek