Hospitals around the world are struggling to keep their medical devices working during the COVID-19 pandemic, a problem made worse by travel limitations and manufacturers restricting repair information. In an attempt to help, repair-guide site iFixit dedicated half of its staff for the past two months to develop the world’s most comprehensive medical repair database, featuring over 13,000 service manuals. iFixit says that this is just the beginning of its efforts, and the company makes no money on the project.
iFixit’s work highlights the importance of the Right to Repair movement. In these times, functional medical equipment is literally a matter of life or death, and hospitals don’t always have time to wait for an official repair technician. Even worse, sometimes the manufacturer either won’t repair a device or has gone out of business, which has been a challenge for the handful of polio survivors still relying on iron lungs (be sure to read the Gizmodo article as well).