How This Engineer is Making Open Source Medical Devices at 1/20th the Cost

After sailing more than 40 thousand nautical kilometers and into 14 countries on Unreasonable at Sea, we ported in Spain for our culminating event. The technology companies who sailed around the world with us had 6 minutes to share the story of their company to hundreds of people packed into an auditorium in Barcelona. This is one of those talks.


The entrepreneur in this video is Peter Ueda of EvoTech – Evolving Technologies- Medical Solutions For The Developing World.

Company Description in 100 Words or Less

2 billion people lack access to basic surgery.  Tweet This Quote

Millions of patients in developing countries are deprived of common procedures relating to respiratory, gynecological, gastrointestinal, etc. issues due to the high cost of equipment and training related to endoscopy treatments.

Using bottom-up innovation techniques, Evolving Technologies created an endoscopy system for the needs of developing markets for less than 4% of the market price. Their main product today is a light, portable endoscopy system for women’s health, the EvoCam. They also have the EvoLight, a light, portable, LED-based medical light-source powered by a USB. Visit company website.

Major Milestones:

  • MIT $100K track finalist 2011.
  • Hub Ventures finalist 2011.
  • Granted MIT IDI Technology Dissemination Fellowship 2011.
  • Joint project with IDEO.ORG on EvoCam design and business model 2011.

Video That Demonstrates the Process:

About the author

Unreasonable Media

Unreasonable Media

As a company, Unreasonable Media is dedicated to leveraging the power of stories to shift paradigms and solve problems. That's why we have made almost all the videos you see on this site. Long story short, we are not your average production company. Visit our site to see for yourself.

  • lamt5

    I had no idea that roughly two billion people don’t have access to basic surgery. They are doing great work at EvoTech!

  • natebbeard

    I was really excited to see the inception of training into the mission of Evolving Technologies. I also thought the reengineering of medical devices is amazing as well and a really effective trend that (I believe) occurs periodically throughout history. Ideally, wouldn’t you want to train surgeons in local communities and set up a self-supporting educational system to support the rapid growth of those trained surgeons? Do those surgeons get compensated enough in developing countries?

  • Leija2014

    Thank you for sharing this post! It’s amazing what engineers can accomplish and especially if it’s something that will help millions of people in developing countries. This post reminded me of the Solar Ear which helps people with hearing impairments and what they’ve accomplished with that. I hope this continues to grow and really make a difference!

  • I am dumbfounded by the amount of people who lack access to basic surgery! I’m glad EvoTech realizes that it is not only the equipment that needs to be more cost effective, but also training. Keep up the great work!

  • Amy Rink

    Thanks for sharing this video! As I was watching the video it’s amazing to hear about what engineers have created and what they can do to help other countries. With this type of device they will help so many people receive the basic surgeries they need! My only question is, with training surgeons over a computer monitor doesn’t that increase the chance of more error since that doctor isn’t physically there?

  • MeierKM23

    Thank for sharing this video and article. I am amazed at some of the things that engineers and inventors come up with and incredibly happy about it because they are thinking of and making things that can help people. People all over the world are being helped in some sort of way because of people like Peter and other engineers. This is the second video I have watched about a device that would help others with their needs, especially the ones that can’t afford help, and I enjoy learning about them. Thanks again for sharing this and I hope the idea gets around and makes a difference.

  • Jen McKiernan

    This is a very eye opening post. I had no idea so many people didn’t have access to basic surgeries. It is very great to hear though that engineers have found a way to help so many people for such a low cost. Are there other products in the works to help even more people?

  • BartuchGR11

    Thank you for sharing this post it was very interesting. I found this post useful because I didn’t realize that 2 billion people lack access to just the basic surgical procedures. I do agree that surgery procedures are the neglected part of global health. The vast majority of our surgery technology is made for high end hospitals which doesn’t meet the needs of lower end hospitals. I think what Evolving technologies is doing is really great and more companies should do the same.

  • bmdillon

    Thank you for sharing! It is common knowledge that many people lack access to adequate medical care, but I was still very surprised to learn that 2 billion people don’t have access to basic surgery. It reminded me not to take for granted everything I have at arm’s reach. Keep working at this!

  • Andersonjc16

    Great video and a great share, didn’t realize the numbers were like for people in need or care or cant receive medial attention of any kink. this makes me realize how lucky i am to be able to get care when ever i have needed it.

  • nguye107

    Thanks for sharing the video! It’s so amazing what the engineers have done to not only provide medical care for those who are in need but also at the same time save resources.

  • Drew Cox

    Thanks for sharing this video clip!. I think these ideas are amazing. We know that many other countries aren’t as fortunate as we may be here in the US. Making things more affordable goes a long way when helping the less fortunate. I know that surgery was expensive but the number stated in this video has blown my mind. I really hope that this unreasonable atsea idea goes a long way! Good luck

  • Palecekb

    This is amazing! So many countries and people could benefit from this new design. I love that your main focus is to provide hardware that can be used for regular procedures rather then creating ‘the next best thing’ that would cost millions of dollars and only be able to serve so many patients compared to a standard easy to use piece of hardware that out serves the costly ones such as the one you have created! Do you hope to have the machine distributed to countries around the world with rural or poor health care systems or to every health care system to help lower the over all cost of health care?

  • Austin Dorman

    Very cool post! I really liked the video, it was very entertaining and informational. I hope this all works out and is able to help a lot of people, at a lot less cost. What other machines are in the works; if any?

  • kolinjk29

    I really liked the idea in this video. It is truly amazing what people can accomplish and how fast technology is changing day after day. I believe that a lot of countries could benefit from this idea. I think it could save a a lot of money being constantly spent on the next best thing. This would be a great benefit for people in the health care industry as well. A question I would have to ask you is do this idea have the chance to change and allow access to surgery’s for everyone?

  • Steven Bichler

    What a great idea from this guy. This is a great example of how one persons idea can use his idea to help himself and help a lot of others in the world. Improving people’s health is one of my passions and this technology can help millions of people world wide so I’m for this being added to lower income countries/areas. I hope more ideas like this come out in the future that can improve peoples health.

  • pinsolera

    Thank you for posting this informative video. This proves that we can make a difference in third world countries to help others with medical care. It makes me feel better knowing that we can have advanced prototype machinery to help other countries that are not fortunate to have health care with surgeries, and I can agree helping people in other countries. Anyone who is interested in helping others overseas would love to see this post.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    That’s such a great idea and I think it will pave way for many other cheaper alternatives in medical equipment in developing countries. This is the kind of thing that can have a positive impact on so many lives.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    Yeah that stat caught me off guard too. It’s hard to imagine that kind of thing when you’re living in the U.S. It’s really sad, but also great that it’s being tended to.

  • Willie

    With the rising costs of everything in this world it is great to see anything being done at a reduced cost whether its labor costs or a currency cost. Especially when its something that is for the good of human kind and can help people who are hurting get back to health which should be every ones main goal; to be happy and healthy.

  • Brittney Glende

    This is honestly amazing what these engineers can come up with and the cures that they can find. For someone to come up with a procedure like this that will help millions of people in developing countries is truly remarkable. I think it is great that you guys sailed to 14 different countries presenting this new procedure. Like @Leija2014:disqus said, this reminds me of the Solar Ear article that I read a while back, this was the same story line as that article which is very neat. I think it is great that we are helping these less developed countries and helping save their lives. Thank you for helping those that are in need and making a difference in someone else’s life. I appreciate this article.

  • Charles Fischer

    Great posting I agree that what the engineers can do when they put their minds together.

  • Brad Moule

    Great Idea. I agree like many others that have posted that with the advancements in technology that our world has made we should be capable to come up with many other tools at at much cheaper price to assist those in need. well done