View from inside the shipping container clinic. Source: Erika Gronek/ASUView from inside the shipping container clinic. Source: Erika Gronek/ASUResearchers from Arizona State University (ASU) have turned a decommissioned shipping container into a self-sustaining medical care clinic meant for use in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and military operation scenarios.

Funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) Defense University Research-to-Adoption Program, the 40 ft long, 9.5 ft high shipping container has been converted into a three-room medical clinic. The clinic, which is rapidly deployable via rail, ship or truck, is equipped to accommodate just about any type of basic outpatient care scenario. The structure is solar powered and outfitted with its own water purification system that can clean roughly 12,000 gallons of water an hour.

“ONR funded the research, engineering, fabrication and testing of this prototype,” said ASU professor Nathan Johnson. “Quality health care service starts with clean water and stable power, and our team was able to leverage our experience in these areas to create a system capable of operating in almost any condition or location.”

“We incorporated water tanks with ultraviolet sterilization equipment, solar panels, batteries, inverter systems and a backup generator to ensure the system will be self-reliant in almost any environment,” explained Cody Van Cleve, an engineering doctoral student and the coordinator of the project.

Designed to provide medical care to vulnerable populations, a shipping container medical clinic prototype will be put to the test this August at a refugee camp in Uganda. There it will provide healthcare access to an estimated 12,000 refugees.

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