Careables is a community of makers and users of open-source, collaborative hardware innovations that can be easily replicated globally via 3D printing and other forms of fabrication.

Careables is an international platform collaboration that enables citizens to co-design and deliver people-centred health products through means of digital fabrication

The aim of the work package of Careables Latin America in Olinda is to engage stakeholder communities, bring these existing communities together and connect them in the field of open source healthcare solutions. The engagement focuses on both local levels as well as global engagement activities.

The partners LabCOCO, FabLabOLinda (Both in Olinda city) and LabProComum (city of Santos) function as the hubs to connect to local communities of citizens with (physical) healthcare needs, carers, and public healthcare professionals with the community of makers and medical herbalists. Each hub executes a specifically tailored program for their local context to identify the needs of these communities, but also sensitise the active involvement of citizens in the co-design and delivery of healthcare products, traditional knowledge share on health food production and sustainability on the plastic chain to protect our water system and fishes. In scheduled meet-ups and during WednesdaysOpen Days, citizens and healthcare professionals, supported by makers, designers and engineers, learn, ideate and produce possibilities of people-centred healthcare solutions.

Careables already happens on a global network of Fab Labs and makerspaces with existing open healthcare communities worldwide. Through online collaborative tools, the platform and by organising maker gatherings, the communities of makers come together and share their experiences. The Global Innovation Gathering – GIG members from other continents delivers an active exchange between European Fab Labs and the Global South, to inspire and learn from the different cultural backgrounds and ecosystems. At the same time, Careables also embrace existing communities that have developed and delivered open healthcare solutions with active collaboration throughout the project. The global engagement strategy also targets students in the field of medicine, paramedical professions, design & arts, biomedical engineering and government to educate them in the process of co-design and delivery of people-centred healthcare solutions.

With the Careables project – an EU Horizon2020 funded platform initiative to connect patients, healthcare professionals and makers, GIG supports global knowledge exchange on assistive tech and health tech.

During our first events stakeholders are actively invited to join the conversation on open healthcare solutions, the role of people with physical healthcare needs and healthcare professionals in co-design and delivery of such products and services. They also share ideas or projects they are working on. Later, experience workshops participants will ideate on a solution and rapid prototype into a tangible object.

Careables also aims better to organise maker community gatherings: although Fab labs and makerspaces have numerous platforms and networks at their disposal to collaborate, these opportunities are seldom used in full. We believe that to connect makerspaces with worldwide organisations and communities that are active in open healthcare is essential. It fosters educational activities and student engagement. This includes students in the field of medicine, paramedical professions, design & arts, biomedical engineering, permaculture and history. The aim is to educate them in the process of co-design and delivery of people-centred healthcare solutions and to teach them how to be involved in this participatory design process within their expertise.


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