I'd never heard of such a thing before, but the Wound Care folks are trying to get me set up with one.
It's not much more than a little vacuum pump that draws fluid out of an open wound. It's supposed to increase blood flow to the injury and help it close up. There's some question (see the link) whether it's even effective for non-diabetic treatment, but I was told that it could speed my belly's healing by a few weeks.
Medicaid doesn't cover the rental--and I can understand why: this little handy-dandy wonder of modern medical technology is a grand or two a WEEK. I'm working on the "financial hardship" paperwork for one of these, but in the meantime I went looking for cheaper alternatives and found a story about an MIT student who worked up a hand-operated device that costs...three bucks.
Danielle Zurovcik was going to test her invention in Rwanda, but took 50 of them to Haiti at the request of Partners in Health in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.
Three. Bucks. (There's followup of the Haiti trip at this link.)
The basic design came from an accordion-style toilet plunger. There's a good picture of it at this link. That's pretty damn cool. "Heroes" tag goes to Zurovcik and anyone working with her on this gadget.