In addition to the basic technical, communication and interpersonal skills acquired in a 4-year engineering curriculum, successful careers in healthcare require an understanding of how a business functions (marketing and sales, accounting and finance, and operations) and familiarity with the legal, regulatory, and economic constraints affecting patient care device design and development.
In academic year 2012-2013, and with funding from an NIH R25 grant, CIVET implemented a new senior design (SD) experience, beginning with the Biomedical Engineering academic program, focused on the integration of the BME senior design experience with translation of innovation to industry. The program hosted nine students in its inaugural year and expanded to 35 students, including a group of graduate students, in the 2014-2015 academic year. The program provides the following practical commercialization perspective:
- Screening process to identify senior design projects with commercialization potential;
- Education of ISD teams in innovation and entrepreneurship, supported by clinical and business advisors;
- Path for translation and commercialization for the most meritorious SD projects.
Students are competitively selected to serve on ISD project teams, enrolled in CIVET’s Innovation Course, and required to take part in programming relevant to commercialization of their assigned ISD research projects. One such program is the clinical immersion program; a program designed to allow the BME students to explore the practical side of medicine and ensure context for appropriate technology innovation. The agenda is full with a mix of operating room shadowing opportunities in all surgical disciplines, trauma bay demonstrations and shadowing, emergency medical services/ambulance tours, robotics simulations and demonstrations, tours of research laboratories with cutting edge innovations, and throughout, constant dialogue with a group of physicians/technicians that are as eager to share their wisdom as the students are to absorb it.
Learn more about the program: