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Design of a Low-Cost Autoclave for Developing World Health Clinics

[+] Author Affiliations
Gregory D. Tao, Hallie S. Cho, Daniel Frey, Amos G. Winter, V

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2012-71435, pp. 297-303; 7 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Incidence of surgical site infection is 2–5 times higher in developing nations as compared to developed nations. A low-cost, easy to use autoclave was designed to address the unique technical, behavioral, and market challenges present in rural, health posts of the developing world. A thorough stakeholder analysis was performed very early in the design process to address non-technical needs for sustained user adoption as well as manufacturability and scalability. Twelve partnering clinics in Nepal trialed these autoclaves from July until December 2012. Usage statistics and follow-up observations highlight important factors for successful adoption. These findings were used to improve the autoclave design. The goal of this paper is to detail a case study and methodology to incorporate multiple stakeholder needs into the early design process.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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