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“generate” lab at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s hospital inventing for patients

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – Doctors and nurses at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids are trying to make their patient’s stays a little easier with some new innovations.

“We’d seen that clinicians had these fantastic ideas and the gap between bringing them to life to improve patient care was technology,” Anna Young with MakerHealth said.

The generate Health Technology Fabrication Lab in Cedar Rapids is MakerHealth’s third space like this in the country, and the first in the Midwest.

3D printers were making molds for earmuffs for babies riding hospital helicopters Thursday, kids with disabilities were riding on retro-fitted toy cars, and students from a local college were experimenting with virtual reality to help patients cope with pain.

“We’ve found that can be very effective in taking them away from the hospital without actually leaving,” Coe College senior Cooped Dodd said. Nurses will start getting trained on the VR headsets in January, and they’ll have software like a virtual scuba dive.

“The possibilities  are endless,” Dodd said.

While the lab opened Thursday, UnityPoint has been working with MakerHealth for the past two years, churning out 57 projects, 11 of which are already being used at St. Luke’s Hospital.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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