On the 9th of March, the doors of 'Huis de Pinto' were open for everyone interested around the theme of 'MakeHealth'. Healthcare experts, pioneers in DIY healthcare, students, patients and other interested in the topic came together to discuss what is possible when patients and providers take matters into their own hands, and start making solutions for health related challenges themselves.
Since there are already several 'Healthmakers' out there, Jurre Ongering, project manager from the Creative Care Lab of Waag Society, introduced the subject with an overview of different types of making for healthcare, in Fablabs or makerspaces worldwide. These varied from really practical solutions, like the boy who made his own orthopaedic soccer shoe at Fablab Amsterdam some time ago, and nurses who make their own solutions, to more conceptual ideas like a DIY surgery robot by Frank Kolkman.
Different Health Makers were invited to explain what they made, how they made it and why they made it. There was a broad view on the subject 'making' for healthcare. Some had a more commercial perspective, while others purely managed to fulfil a specific individual need:
Creating a community
Altogether it was an inspiring evening. The meetup showed that MakeHealth is not only about projects initiated by Waag Society, but it depicts the need to create a community of Healthmakers. To share ideas, support each other, and motivate others we can show that anyone can be a maker of his own healthcare solutions, creating a community will make that more accessible. Let the next public meetup show how an active contribution of the Fablab can make it even more accessible!