The design of medical technologies for developing countries is a multidisciplinary process. We describe a model process for an appropriate medical device design. D-Lab Health combines real world projects and partners with a diverse student team to provide experiential educational opportunities in a developing country health care setting; in turn, the partners benefit from student medical device designs. In order to effectively communicate practical design strategies toward an appropriate design for medical technology, a series of accelerated technology learning modules was developed using commercially available and customized medical devices. Each module included a formal framework for the students to think about the competing priorities of the user, chooser, payer, and approver of such global health technologies, christened the “global health innovation compass.” These modules provided a hands-on laboratory experience that demystified the design process. This was particularly useful for nonengineering students who were able to add value to the project through their life-sciences background. An essential component of the course was a week-long visit to our field partners in Nicaragua to enable the students to get first hand experience and to identify a health need they could address with a technology solution. Subsequently, the students utilized their hands-on training to develop medical device prototypes within an abbreviated production schedule of 3 weeks. We describe the design process for one such prototype “a low cost glucometer.”

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