National Instruments donation support BMET Education Honduras

ELVIS BMET Honduras

Honduras BMET students Oscar Molina (left) and Heber Sibrian build an opamp circuit they have simulated using the ELVIS Protoboard.

In July 2012, EWH facilitated a donation from National Instruments to Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional (INFOP) of 10 ELVIS II Prototyping Boards and licenses for LabVIEW and Multisim software. EWH continues to work with INFOP in the creation of a new, Honduras-owned biomedical training program, and these state-of-the-art educational tools will have a tremendous impact at INFOP and represent an upgrade of the electronic instruments previously available in the laboratory. In future years, INFOP will host a 2-year intensive program to introduce newly trained BMETs to the Honduras labor market.

National Instruments specializes in educational tools for engineers and technicians, and the ELVIS II Prototyping Platform is a powerful educational tool that smoothly integrates software, 12 virtual electronics instruments, and a real prototyping board to greatly enhance student understanding of electronic and biomedical principles. Students can simulate electronic circuits using Multisim and LabVIEW software and then build the real thing using the protoboard to experience how theory is translated into practice.

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GE Foundation and Engineering World Health (EWH) signed an agreement on October 26, 2012 with Instituto Nacional de Formacion Profesional (INFOP), establishing the framework for a sustainable BMET training program in Honduras, managed and operated locally by INFOP, the national institute for professional training. This signing established a new field of training in Honduras, as a full-time, intensive program for hands-on medical equipment repair and maintenance did not previously exist in country. INFOP will be establishing an independent academic department with three full-time faculty members and will construct the laboratory facilities to support the program at their campus in Tegucigalpa. This training will be provided by the Honduran public sector through INFOP, with the first group of students beginning study in February 2013 and graduating in November 2014.

EWH gives advanced training on radiology equipment in Honduras

West teaching Mammography

West Hughes provides instruction to Honduras BMETs on troubleshooting and repair of a mammography device at Hospital Militar, Tegucigalpa.

Engineering World Health delivered continuing education on advanced modalities of radiology equipment in Honduras from October 29 to November 9, 2012. Participating biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) from 13 public and charity hospitals in Honduras attended the course in Tegucigalpa and practiced technical skills on fixed x-ray, portable x-ray, c-arm, computerized tomography, mammography, and panoramic dental x-ray machines. These machines were reviewed in clinical settings at EWH’s partner hospitals in the Tegucigalpa area, including Hospital Escuela, Hospital Militar, and Hospital de Torax. This is the ninth of twelve sessions planned by EWH in the country, and practical hands-on training was delivered by guest instructor Kenneth “West” Hughes.  

During this visit, BMETs returned two portable x-ray machines to fully-operational service. At Hospital Escuela, Hughes assisted in the review of the batteries and charging circuit for a portable X-ray in the pediatric unit, which had not be operating according to doctors’ expectations. After careful testing of the circuitry and battery voltage,he determined the error and returned the unit to full service.

In Hospital Torax, a portable x-ray had been unable to move due to a faulty switch the circuitry to drive the motor. The original switch was manufacturer-specific, but Justin Cooper, EWH BMET Manager for Honduras, helped the local BMETs understand the specifications and identify a locally available switch that could be used as a replacement. The Honduran BMETs acted as a team to replace the switch and restore the driving capabilities of the machine. 

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