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Anna Young
Most Creative People 2016

Anna Young

Cofounder, MakerHealth | Cambridge, MA

For enabling nurses to create their own solutions

Anna Young cofounded Pop Up Labs, a company that runs the MakerNurse network to help frontline caregivers devise their own ways to improve medicine. After soliciting and publishing ideas for new devices and caregiving techniques from hundreds of clinicians across the country, now she’s establishing stand-alone “MakerHealth Spaces”—filled with supplies such as pliers, 3-D printers, laser cutters, and medical prototyping equipment—within hospitals themselves. The first opened in 2015 in UTMB John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas, and another is opening in 2016 at South Shore Hospital, in South Weymouth, Massachusetts and another with South Shore's home health care division. Some of the early results: Using tools from the initial MakerNurse study, one nurse developed a new way to use bandages to dress the wounds of babies born with abdominal wall defects, saving the hospital $250,000 in its first year of use. And a "maker patient" created a special case for TV remotes that shields all but the essential buttons, giving patients with hand tremors more control and a better quality of life. An economist-turned-medical-designer, Young is also an entrepreneur-in-residence with MIT’s Little Devices Lab, where she co-developed MEDIKits, a post-eye surgery recovery kit, and Solarclave, a solar-powered device for sterilizing medical instruments in off-grid clinics. 

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