Optimizing medical waste management through design, implementation and assessment of a hand-held sort-it device incorporating magnetic separation technology
Nakkazi, Catherine Diana
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This report follows the activities of team Transcend Technologies in an effort to fulfil the requirements of the design course series for the period of 18th march 2021 to 24th September, 2022. This report discusses the technical details of the activities carried out by the Transcend Technologies team right from Biomedical Engineering Design I up to Biomedical Engineering Design IV. The report is divided into ten sections: Section One – Review of Design One, Section Two- Change of the selected problem, Section Three- Concept Generation and Selection, Section Four- Revision of the solution, Section Five- Prototype testing, Section six- Redesign, Section seven-market size and opportunities, Section eight- Clinical & Regulatory Process, Section nine Intellectual Property, Section ten-milestone based design, development plan and budget, Section eleven-future prospects and conclusion. We conducted a needs assessment field work exercise in Mulago National Referral Hospital around March 27th, 2021, where we interacted with several medical professionals and identified certain issues. The needs assessment study provided a clear picture of the issues confronting the Ugandan health-care system. However, we were obliged to identify a single problem; the team used an elimination matrix to select a primary challenge. Transcend discovered via the requirements assessment procedure that many infections result from improper treatment of HCW at various phases. We discovered disturbing facts after conducting extensive desk-based investigative research on this subject, such as "approximately 5.2 million individuals (including 4 million children) die each year from nosocomial illnesses." Furthermore, we discovered that only 10.5% of health workers practice adequate waste management, which can lead to major health issues for workers, the community, and the environment. The results of the needs assessment exercise convinced us that it was critical to address the issue at hand. In order to shape our solution, we conducted research on current solutions and their shortcomings. The purpose of this course series was to create a low-cost, easy-to-use device for sorting healthcare waste. We believe that our solution, the Sort-It device, will be a major driver in limiting transmission of infections owing to improper waste processing by reducing the contact between the waste and the user.