Decoding Design

A low-cost surgical lamp designed for hospitals without electricity

A low-cost surgical lamp designed for hospitals without electricity

Posting in Design

As part of a design contest sponsored by India- Future of Change, Australia's Michael O'Brien created this battery-powered surgical lamp.

There are many places in the world where hospitals often have run without any electricity. Of many issues that come to mind (most modern machines need power), surgery sticks out as hugely problematic.

For one, when people are under anesthesia, machines powered by electricity keep them alive. But also, on a more fundamental level, surgeons need light, proper amounts of it that is, to perform the surgery in the first place.

To help solve this basic problem, Michael O'Brien from Sydney's University of Technology created a surgical lamp designed specifically to address the problem of lighting surgeries in developing countries where hospitals may not have power.

The lamp has a set of LED lights that are powered by a rechargeable twelve-volt battery that is mounted in a frame made of a single sheet of metal.

Having just one piece means that there is just one industrial process, meaning it's cheap to make. Its size too, provides for an ease of shipment (in just an envelope) also at a low cost.

The frame is also perforated, so it can be molded into shape by hand, making the light easy to install upon arrival, and O'Brien noted that this also could potentially lead to an opportunity a small business to form around installation.

O'Brien's design comes to us as part of a competition put on by India Future of Change. India- Future of Change is five-year initiative that seeks to engage the world with India. The aim is to "get students and professionals across geographies to compete, collaborate and co-create a better future for all of us."

The contest also has categories in business, journalism, visual arts and photography.

[Co.Design]
Images: India Future of Change

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure