The Struggle to Reduce U.S. Healthcare Inequalities (STS research paper)

Lindsey, Devin, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Miller, Mark, MD-ORTP Sports Med, University of Virginia

Labor shortages, limited availability of technology and limited access to care impair global healthcare. In the United States, these problems disproportionately affect rural populations.

How can knee aspiration be automated such that the procedure requires only a single hand? Knee aspiration is a common orthopedic procedure. Automation of this procedure could increase the comfort of the physician and the patient. In the current procedure, the physician must use both hands on a syringe. This is cumbersome because it is often necessary to drive synovial fluid to the needle's tip, requiring an additional hand. Using modelling and prototyping, the capstone group attempted to develop an automated knee aspirator. We created a CAD model and completed a working prototype. If successful, the device may reshape the standard of care for the knee aspiration procedure.

How are social groups responding to the shortage of medical care resources in the rural U.S.? Many social groups and government agencies use telemedicine, advocacy and financial incentives to reduce inequities in rural healthcare. Evidence suggests that current policy better serves urban areas and often neglects rural communities. Many social groups advocate reforms to better serve rural health. Policy makers must consider the needs of rural communities.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Knee aspiration, Reduced medical care

Other Title: Mechanical Device Compatible with a Syringe to Perform Single Handed Knee Aspiration (Technical report);
School of Engineering and Applied Science; Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering: Technical Advisor: Mark Miller; STS Advisor: Peter Norton.

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