Jorge Odón

Inventor, Odón Device

Jorge Odón
Rendering of the Odón Device

For easing childbirth in the developing world.

Jorge Odón

The Problem:

Ninety-nine percent of mothers who die during childbirth live in countries where doctors lack access to the training and tools to assist in difficult deliveries.

The Epiphany:

In 2006, Jorge Odón, then a 52-year-old car mechanic living in Argentina, watched his employees emulate a YouTube video demonstrating how to remove a cork stuck inside a bottle using a plastic bag. That night, at 4 a.m., Odón woke up with an idea: What if the bottle were a uterus and the cork were a baby?

The Execution:

Though he had no medical training, the father of five (all delivered by C-section) constructed a glass uterus and used one of his daughter’s dolls to demonstrate the idea. Odón showed the device to specialists at CEMIC, a Buenos Aires teaching hospital, who helped him apply for patents and connected him to the World Health Organization. On March 1, 2011, Odón’s birthday, he and his team launched 30 live trials. All were successful.

The Result:

This year, Odón left the garage for good to work full time on perfecting the Odón Device. Meanwhile, research continues with women across the globe. “No one should be discriminated against for not ever getting the opportunity to study,” Odón says of his own foray into medicine. “We are all creatives.”

About the author

Sydney Brownstone is a Seattle-based former staff writer at Co.Exist. She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with windows that don’t quite open, and covers environment, health, and data.