Alternative ultrasound gel for a sustainable ultrasound program: Application of human centered design

Margaret Salmon, Christian Salmon, Alexa Bissinger, Mundenga Mutendi Muller, Alegnta Gebreyesus, Haimanot Geremew, Sarah Wendell, Aklilu Azaza, Maurice Salumu, Nerys Benfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes design of a low cost, ultrasound gel from local products applying aspects of Human Centered Design methodology. A multidisciplinary team worked with clinicians who use ultrasound where commercial gel is cost prohibitive and scarce. The team followed the format outlined in the Ideo Took Kit. Research began by defining the challenge "how to create locally available alternative ultrasound gel for a low-resourced environment? The "End-Users," were identified as clinicians who use ultrasound in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. An expert group was identified and queried for possible alternatives to commercial gel. Responses included shampoo, oils, water and cornstarch. Cornstarch, while a reasonable solution, was either not available or too expensive. We then sought deeper knowledge of locally sources materials from local experts, market vendors, to develop a similar product. Suggested solutions gleaned from these interviews were collected and used to create ultrasound gel accounting for cost, image quality, manufacturing capability. Initial prototypes used cassava root flour from Great Lakes Region (DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania) and West Africa, and bula from Ethiopia. Prototypes were tested in the field and resulting images evaluated by our user group. A final prototype was then selected. Cassava and bula at a 32 part water, 8 part flour and 4 part salt, heated, mixed then cooled was the product design of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number134332
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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    Salmon, M., Salmon, C., Bissinger, A., Muller, M. M., Gebreyesus, A., Geremew, H., Wendell, S., Azaza, A., Salumu, M., & Benfield, N. (2015). Alternative ultrasound gel for a sustainable ultrasound program: Application of human centered design. PloS one, 10(8), [134332]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134332