3 inventions trying to change the world

The annual Aspen Ideas Festival brings together thinkers from a variety of fields -- and when they team up, ideas turn into actions. This year's event featured teams of students from Stanford's Institute of Design with prototypes of several radically new visions.


Founders: Seth Norman, Kevin Chi, Matthew Tilleard, Jacob Frenz

In a war zone, rethinking the basics can save lives. Take the IV bag, a technology Iraq war veteran Seth Norman thinks is completely broken.

"The device that you're going to use to save your friend's life has remained virtually unchanged since World War II," Norman says while rattling off a list of flaws, including the need to keep the bag elevated at a constant height.

The Stanford team came up with CombatIV, an "infusion pump" IV bag that doesn't need to be elevated and can instead be attached to a patient with velcro straps. The bag also lets medical workers set a dial to regulate the liquid flow, rather than manually counting the drips.

The group envisions CombatIV as a game changer in disaster zones. Matthew Tilleard, who has worked on aid policy issues around the world, cited Haiti as an example. The country is battling a cholera outbreak and could use a technology like CombatIV that would let people remain mobile while receiving fluid and antibiotics.

CombatIV's creators are seeking funding to continue their product development and begin the process of seeking FDA approval.

By Laurie Segall @CNNMoneyTech - Last updated July 06 2012: 10:14 AM ET
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