16 March 2021
Saint Louis, MO, USA — March 16, 2021 — The Fabricatorz Foundation, the St. Louis based non-profit supporting creative technologists, along with Glia Canada, the open source medical devices project founded by Canadian doctor and humanitarian, Dr. Tarek Loubani, are opening Glia USA to improve support for Open Source Medical Devices (OSMD) efforts in the United States of America.
“In 2015, we designed a high quality stethoscope that could be 3D printed and cost less than $3. Normally, they cost $250. From this, Glia was born to provide access to medical supplies to anyone, starting from underserved areas,” said Dr. Loubani. “Glia Open Source Medical Devices are now used in large hospital systems around the world, in medical schools, and printed on-demand in hard to reach locations globally. With Glia USA, based in St. Louis, we continue with the same mission in order to improve access to healthcare in the States.”
Fabricatorz Foundation awarded Dr. Loubani the Bassel Khartabil Fellowship as the Covid-19 pandemic began one year ago. In affiliation with Creative Commons, Mozilla Foundation, and the Barjeel Foundation, the Fabricatorz Foundation and Dr. Loubani agreed there was a need to support Glia’s American supporters, developers and volunteers.
“The Covid-19 pandemic was an all-hands call to save lives,” said Barry Threw, Chairman of Fabricatorz Foundation. “When Fabricatorz Foundation announced Tarik Loubani and Glia as Bassel Khartabil Fellows, no one knew the extent of the catastrophe in progress. Together with Fabricatorz Foundation’s Global Partners, Mozilla, Creative Commons, Intel, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft we began working with Glia to improve open access medical devices for all. This launch of Glia USA represents a long term commitment to use open hardware and software to improve the lives of real people, and prepare for responding quickly to the next health crisis before it comes.”
Fabricatorz Foundation is working together with Well Made Workshop, a prototyping fabrication studio, based in St. Louis City to accelerate the creation of Glia USA. Similar to Glia during the pandemic, Well Made Workshop fulfilled medical supplies to cover the high demand.
“Well Made Workshop began as the pandemic hit the United States,” said Kevin Kelly, Owner, Well Made Workshop. “Quickly, we were receiving orders for masks from construction companies and local essential businesses needing to keep workers safe. Then, actor Jason Momoa worked with us through our friends apparel company, So iLL, and we were fulfilling custom orders all over the country. Glia USA augments our capacity to produce prototypes and hand-made high quality products with advanced 3D printing technology. Also, being in the middle of the country works well with producing and quickly fulfilling items for clients all over the US. Well Made Workshop is strongly suited to support Glia’s American supporters open source medical device orders.”
Glia USA is based in South St. Louis on Cherokee Street. Alderman for Ward 20, Cara Spencer, who is also the St. Louis Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee stated, “The last year has demonstrated that as a society we are facing immense medical challenges on both a local and global scale. I’m excited by the novel and creative solutions that Glia USA and the St. Louis based Fabricatorz Foundation are implementing right here on Cherokee Street in South St. Louis. Open source medical devices are the future of getting critical resources into the hands of those that need it most in a way that is scalable, local, and avoids the pitfalls of traditional supply chains. I’m proud to welcome these pioneering efforts to St. Louis.”
Serving as Interim Glia USA Director is Jon Phillips, Fabricatorz Foundation’s Executive Director.
“Glia USA is live and active. We need you to join our efforts,” said Jon Phillips. “I moved my whole family to St. Louis three years ago because I love this city. I saw the opportunity and decided to move all of my projects to be based here, starting with Fabricatorz Foundation. Glia USA has 3D printers and equipment now at Well Made Workshop. How can you participate? Place an order for medical devices at https://glia.org. And if you want to talk more, email us at [email protected]. The time to pull together is now.”
Fabricatorz Foundation supports creative technologists. Based in St. Louis, Fabricatorz Foundation drives community-focused impact with cultural exchange, public events, education, and project incubation. It is the sponsor organization of Glia USA, Qiware, the Fashion Freedom Initiative, the Bassel Khartabil Fellowship, #NEWPALMYRA, Openclipart, and Fontlibrary.
Glia uses an open-access research, development, and distribution model to create high-quality low-cost medical devices that are then clinically validated.
From Wikipedia: Tarek Loubani is a Canadian doctor and humanitarian. He runs the Glia Project, which seeks to provide medical supplies to impoverished locations, and developed a low-cost stethoscope in 2015. He serves as Associate Professor at the University of Western Ontario and works in emergency rooms.
Well Made Workshop is a full service complete prototyping fabrication studio, based on Cherokee Street in South-City St. Louis.