iFixit is working to create a database of information on how to repair medical equipment.
iFixit is well-known for their detailed and informative breakdowns of various phones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices. The company also publishes repair guides for individuals who want to brave repairs on their own.
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, iFixit is endeavoring to bring their expertise to medical and hospital equipment. The company’s goal is to create a database to house repair information, information that can be used to help keep critical equipment running.
“Biomedical technicians (biomeds for short) are the repair experts at hospitals, and in many regions they are stretched thin,” writes Kyle Wiens, iFixit Editor-in-Chief. “There are a wide variety of machines made by a number of different manufacturers at hospitals around the world, and there is no single resource for how to repair all of them. We don’t know how many machines will fail once hospitals are truly taxed. We don’t know which parts of those machines are most at risk.
“Some manufacturers heroically host service manuals for their equipment on their website, and some make them more challenging to locate. There is no single source of information for biomeds to access. Biomed forums are frequently populated with requests for specific PDF service manuals. The closest thing to a central resource is Frank’s Hospital Workshop, a fantastic website run out of Tanzania with hundreds of manuals and very helpful how-to resources for maintaining medical equipment. But Frank’s site is a one-person operation, and a single point of failure, should overwhelming traffic come calling.
“We’re going to change that. Our biomed technicians’ time is too precious to waste on internet Easter-egg hunts. iFixit is building a central resource for maintenance and repair of hospital equipment. We need help from fixers everywhere, medical professionals, and biomedical technicians to make sure this is as robust, relevant, and useful as possible.”
iFixit is to be commended for their efforts to help overwhelmed hospitals keep their equipment running. Anyone who has knowledge that might be helpful is encouraged to add to iFixit’s database.
Those who wish to participate are encouraged to “find or create a device page for the medical product” and “upload a photo of the device and attach the manual.” If someone does not have time to go through those steps, or needs to send documents in bulk, they can email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.