[FR] Trois idées que j’ai envoyé au Challenge OpenIDEO contre l’ebola (désolé, cet article est disponible uniquement en anglais) :
[ES] Tres ideas que he enviado al Challenge OpenIDEO contra el ébola (lo siento, este articulo sólo esta disponible en inglés):
[EN] Three ideas I’ve sent to the OpenIDEO Challenge against ebola (sorry, this article is only available in English):
Gloves against Ebola (see original contribution)
How to take off gloves without producing additional biological contamination? This glove design allows to take off gloves without touching them […] (original blog post)
I’ve tried making two prototypes, one with washing gloves, tape and elastic string (pictured) and another one with disposable medical gloves and sewn elastic string (not pictured). By now, the problem seems to be that they’re too tight to be taken off without using the hands (the disposable glove teared off when I tried to pull it off only by pulling the elastic string). Larger gloves may be needed, or either I still haven’t found the right brand and model.
Use naturally chlorine-rich plants & minerals to treat contaminated medical material.
Industrial-grade chlorine is the main component used to treat materials that have been contaminated with the ebola virus. However, it’s also a component that is naturally present in many plant compounds. Chlorine in its pure form is a gas, but in the surface of the Earth it’s often found combined with other elements, thus difficult to purify without a lab. In its combined form, chlorine is usually inocuous, except for some molecules present in plants called organochlorines (that can have antibiotic and antiviral proprerties).
So the idea would be to research plants that are naturally rich in organochlorine in ebola-affected areas, so they can be collected by volunteers and used to decontaminate ebola-infected material in a plastic bin containing a solution.
Of course, this project would require training and research to perfect the techniques and efficacity of obtaining organochlorines this way, but it also can mean a way to get chlorine without the need to import it every time, and also a way to empower local populations against the epidemy.
For instance, some species of the Aster family are very rich in chlorinated compounds. The idea would be to search those that are native to western African countries.
After some research, it seems that organochlorines would be a very dangerous and unefficient way to threat ebola-contaminated materials. These molecules have been used in the past as pesticides and insecticides (DDT) and they have been proven to be very toxic and difficult to control. Finding natural, plant based, sources of organochlorines that would be inocuous enough for human use while still being able to clean the virus away can take years, but this epidemy is taking place right now.
In the meanwhile, chlorine pills are already being comercialized and used in West Africa to clean water and to fight ebola. They’re an imperfect fix, but it would be better to teach people to use them correctly (calculate doses, etc). For instance, this system could be used at home to treat potentially ebola-contaminated materials, by submerging them in buckets with water and chlorine pills.
Suit Pod (see original contribution)
A suit with a pod in the back that can turn into a tunnel so doctors can put on / take off suits very fast and securely.
Another idea based on a wall of plastic and a suit. This one-piece suit has a pod-like bag in the back that can be deployed and attached to a wall. Then it can serve as a tunnel so the doctor can enter and exit the suit without touching it. Also, it can provide temporary ventilation when suits are too hot to work on them.
Afterwards, if a suit needs to be cleaned or discarded, it can be turned inside-out from the other side of the wall (and detached) so in any moment doctors are in direct contact with the contaminated surfaces of the suit.