Dr. Tarek Loubani doesn’t seek a safe path, but a transformative one. Not only did he and his team create an inexpensive 3D-printed stethoscope, but the Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor was also shot in the leg as he and other medical professionals attended to wounded Palestinians during protests in Gaza.
The stethoscope, called the Glia model, can be printed in less than three hours using recycled plastics. It uses using free, open-source software that allows virtually anyone to make them, at low cost.
Loubani says stethoscopes may not been seen as vital for diagnosis and treatment in places such as London, where physicians can rely on ultrasound, CT and other diagnostic technology. In war-torn and low-income countries, however, it is a necessary tool.
It was in Gaza, this past May, where Loubani was shot in the left leg by a sniper. He transported to hospital, stabilized and discharged after x-rays showed no bone injury.