3DP4ME launches Hearing Express program to 3D print hearing aids in developing countries
Pilot project to be located in Jordan and focused on youth
3DP4ME is a US non-profit operating in the Middle East. Its mission is to serve real human needs with practical 3D printing (AM) applications. The first project, titled The Hearing Express, will be located in Jordan and focused on providing hearing aids to young people.
According to a World Health Organization report less than 3% of people who need a hearing aid are able to obtain one in developing countries. The Hearing Express’ goal is to change people’s lives by bringing modern solutions to those with hearing loss in low-income countries. THE 3DP4ME team will deploy state-of-the-art mobile 3D ear scanning, 3D modeling, 3D print technology with the goal of providing 12,000 custom-fit hearing aids over a 5 year period.
Launching the 2020 Pilot Program
While working with many partners to gather expertise and resources for the full program launch, 3DP4ME is starting with a pilot project in 2020. During the pilot the core team will be joined by a team from 3D ear scanning specialists Lantos Technologies and DETAX, a German medical and dental photopolymer resins and 3D printing solution provider. On the ground in Jordan, the three partners will provide training, develop systems and validate the 3DP4ME solution. The initial goal is to provide 50 custom hearing aids.
The pilot team includes Dr. Brian Fligor, a Harvard Audiologist and Lantos 3D ear scanning expert; Markus Stratmann, a 3D printing expert specialized in hearing aids from DETAX, and Brother Andrew, who brings 40 years of experience in Jordan, where he helped to provide thousands of hearing aids to children and adults across the Middle East, including 2,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan.
Can you hear this?
This vision to create a space that will use state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing (3D scan/design/print) will provide a variety of assistive devices to those in need in Jordan and Syria – starting with the launch of the Hearing Express program to provide 12,000 custom-fit hearing aids. “A recent meeting with USAID encouraged us to ‘Dream Big’ in addressing the scale of the need to create a much larger impact. Our pilot project will take place later this year, in the meantime we are connecting with industry leaders across the globe, to help define a right-sized facility that can provide end-to-end custom solutions, along with training and R&D, for a much broader range of assistive products, including prosthetics and orthotics,” 3DP4ME Founder, Jason Szolomayer, told 3dpbm.
3DP4ME has been invited to Geneva, Switzerland to join the World Economic Forum’s (WEF), new community around Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing for social impact. Anyone can support this project by helping to fund the pilot. The goal is to raise $150,000.
*This article was updated on September 21st, 2020 to reflect the fact that the fundraising goal has been raised to $150,000 in light of updated Jordanian Government’s import duty requirements.