Teardown and repair website iFixit has just posted what its CEO Kyle Wiens says is “the most comprehensive online resource for medical repair professionals.” The new database contains dedicated sections for clinical, laboratory, and medical support equipment, in addition to numerous other categories of devices. It also provides more than 13,000 manuals from hundreds of medical device manufacturers.
Wiens says the effort began with a crowdsourcing campaign to collect repair information for hospital equipment, with a focus on “ventilator documentation, anesthesia systems, and respiratory analyzers — devices widely used to support COVID-19 patients.” But the effort grew from there, spanning more than two months as iFixit added dozens more staff members to the project; began talking to more biomedical technicians, doctors, and nurses about their day-to-day needs; and started collecting and cataloging information from libraries and other sources.
“Hospitals are having trouble getting service information to fix medical equipment — and it’s not just a COVID-19 problem. We’ve heard countless stories from biomedical technicians (biomeds, for short) about how medical device manufacturers make their jobs more difficult by restricting access to repair information,” Wiens writes in iFixit’s blog post about the new database. “Thanks to travel limitations, the problem is bigger than ever. Manufacturer service reps can’t keep pace with the growing demand for repair of critical hospital equipment. Even if they could, they can’t respond as quickly as the biomeds, already at the front lines.”
Needless to say, OEMs hate right to repair, because it cuts out a profit stream.
To them, I say, f%$# you, without lube.