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Sustainable Innovations to Help Preserve Our World, Part 1 of a Multi-Part Series: Green Alternative Medical Supplies

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The medical industry is no exception when it comes to sustainability concerns. The medical sector accounts for 4.4-4.6% of net global greenhouse gas emissions and other types of air pollution, arising mainly from the healthcare supply chain and medical waste. Researchers, healthcare workers, and companies are working to create more sustainable medical supplies to reduce this environmental impact while maintaining the ability to provide excellent patient care.

Amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic, researcher Yusuf Bilesanmi and his team have developed a low-cost ventilator called ShiVent to help save Covid-19 patients’ lives. This simply designed non-electric machine also saves energy and resources during its operation and production, making it much more sustainable than conventional ventilators.

The health industry has also recently introduced BCool, the first battery-free, mercury-free, eco-friendly connected thermometer. BCool uses patented BMotion sensor technology and is made from recycled plastic. This unique product received the CES 2022 Innovation Award for Sustainability, Eco-Design and Smart Energy.

Researchers in the Netherlands are developing virtually painless injections without needles, in what they hope is a breakthrough that will ease fear. The Bubble Gun will not only prevent the risk of contamination caused by dirty needles and reduce medical waste, but also save energy and resources from needle production. The Bubble Gun is currently going through research and regulatory review before becoming available to the public.

Having the same concerns about the impact of infected needles and syringes on the environment, Daniel López Velasco and Ithzel Libertad Cerón López have developed an eco-friendly, collapsible, and single-material vaccination syringe.

Another great transition in the health sector has come about in England. A National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the Midlands plans to operate on 100% renewable energy. A new solar farm is currently under construction on a landfill site in Wolverhampton. It is expected to produce 6.9MWp per year, and the hospital will generate net carbon zero by 2040.

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