Health & medicine

iFixit: how uncaging equipment repair could transform med tech

During the Covid-19 pandemic, iFixit – best known for its consumer tech repair guides – pivoted half its staff towards building the world’s most comprehensive medical equipment service database. Inspired by stories of how scant repair advice is, and how often it is purposefully restricted, the company posted more than 13,000 manuals and counting. Abi Millar finds out more.

Earlier this year, iFixit announced a surprising decision: the company was turning its focus to medical devices. A wiki-based site known for its consumer repair guides, the iFixit site has the stated mission: ‘teach the world to fix every single thing’.

Typically, this might mean showing consumers how to change the battery on their iPhone, or fix their MacBook if it breaks. But with the coronavirus pandemic raging, in March it pivoted half its staff toward building the world’s most comprehensive medical equipment service database.

“We didn’t create our own manuals – we’re just organising the manufacturer service information that’s available,” says Kyle Wiens, cofounder and CEO of iFixit. “It’s a wiki, so if you have a manual that we don’t, you can upload it. Our goal is to be comprehensive and current with all medical equipment – we’ve set it up as a living, breathing resource.”

Read the rest of this article in the September 2020 edition of Medical Technology

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