Tarek Loubani

Making open medical hardware

Tarek Loubani

Project: Glia

The goal of this project is to create high-quality, free/open medical devices to increase availability to all.

“Rationale and failure analysis of an open access 3D printed tourniquet, used at yesterday's #Gaza protests. With thanks to @ShuttleworthFdn and @emergencylondon. #3Dprinting #OpenSource #OSHW”

The Big Idea

The quality of any medical intervention is greatly affected by the availability of the tools of the trade - equipment and medicines. For both, the determinants of true access are quality, cost and relevance.

For Tarek Loubani a conflict zone has forced the issue. He decided to apply his medical skills to develop high-quality, low-cost, open-source, universally accessible medical hardware to end the asymmetry of care. He started with a $3 stethoscope that meets the same standards as a $300 one. Through Glia, he is now expanding the pool of designs and testing them in the field.

Why We Funded

We support Tarek because the need is stark and immediate. He has a very specific ability to address it and openness makes a substantial difference to his cause. Rooted in utility and practicality, Tarek’s approach extends beyond creating specific devices, towards enabling independent development post-conflict and post-scarcity.

This is not a challenge that will be solved in a year. However, we believe that in this time Tarek can - and will - make a substantial contribution to improved medical care today, and to our thinking about the nature of ownership of medical equipment and devices for the future.

Tarek’s work focuses on:

  • Re-imagining how medical devices are designed, made, and distributed
  • Developing open hardware processes to create high-quality, universally accessible medical equipment

Flash Grants

Stephen Fischer
Jessica Henley
Sara Falconer
Frankie Telarico
Titus Ferguson
Julielynn Wong