Perfect example of low tech innovation


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Bloomberg News reporter Ira Boudway highlights the perfect example of a low tech (and low cost) innovation idea from this past week’s Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.

To diagnose anemia, a condition that can signal the presence of diseases such as HIV, doctors need a centrifuge to separate blood samples into red blood cells and plasma. Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis modified a salad spinner to do the job in areas without electricity. The Rice University undergraduates created the device as part of their coursework in introductory bioengineering and field-tested it this summer in Ecuador, Swaziland, and Malawi. “The most frequent response” to the gadget, says Kerr, “is ‘well, of course!’ After all, a salad spinner is a centrifuge.”

Here’s the takeaway: In a world where high tech gadgets seem to gather the lion’s share of innovation publicity, it’s nice to see game-changers like this get highlighted. Congratulations to Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis for their innovative idea. And kudos to reporter Ira Boudway for bringing it to our attention.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Lefler
Patrick Lefler is the founder of The Spruance Group -- a management consultancy that helps growing companies grow faster by providing unique value at the product level: specifically product marketing, pricing, and innovation. He is a former Marine Corps officer; a graduate of both Annapolis and The Wharton School, and has over twenty years of industry expertise.


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