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How can personal fabrication labs (like Fab Labs) and maker spaces be used to support stakeholders in healthcare in creating new solutions?

Due to the rise of digital fabrication and the unlimited acces to knowledge that the internet provides us, everyone is able to make “almost anything”. Big laboratories or industries are no longer a prerequisite in doing so. MakeHealth was a project in which we teamed up with users. Together we explored new possibilities of becoming makers of innovative healthcare solutions whilst the Dutch government is retreating as a financing and providing party in healthcare. 

Together with patients, health professionals (in education), hospitals, (young) designers, artists and healthcare entrepreneurs, we explored how stakeholders in healthcare themselves can be creator of solutions, that support the illness and care process and that contribute significantly to the empowerment of patients.

Quality of life was paramount. Furthermore, we also conducted the public debate about the possibilities and limits of makeable care and empowerment of patients. This practice will be continued in the European project 'Made4You'.

Multidisciplinary teams worked on solutions

To also actively catalyse the creation of open solutions, three multidisciplinary teams collaborated. Each team had a ‘problem owner’. This could be a patient, a health care professional or a care entrepreneur. The central issue was a problem or need from a patient or healthcare professional. Along with young designers, makers and health professionals the teams designed prototypes to solve the problem at stake.