June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1514.1 - 26.1514.16
The DeFINE Program: A Clinical Immersion for BioE Needs IdentificationThere is a need for biomedical engineering students to more fully engage in the biomedicaldevice design process through experiential learning and immersive experiences. The summerDeFINE (Design Fundamentals In Needs-finding Experience) Program, an NIH andVentureWell funded program, gave 18 students, 15 rising juniors and seniors and 3 graduatestudent mentors, the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive 6-week clinical andtechnology transfer immersion experience in collaboration with the Greenville Health System(GHS) and the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF). These students were pairedwith established clinical design collaborators to conduct needs-based assessments of biomedicaldevices with the goal being to map clinical care processes and identify areas of unmet medicaldevice and system needs. These needs assessments and outcomes were then, upon conclusion ofthe 6-week summer program, broadly disseminated for future use by other biomedicalengineering senior design students to increase the impact of the program beyond the 18 studentsthat participated. To provide entrepreneurial relevance to this clinical immersion, the DeFINEProgram featured an internship in technology management with the university technologytransfer office, CURF, during which time the students were exposed to: (1) intellectual propertyassessment decisions and portfolio management, (2) technology marketing, and (3) technologylicensing and commercialization. The students were challenged to assess the needs discovered intheir clinical immersion experiences as well as existing bioengineering technologies withinCURF’s intellectual property portfolio for their potential as commercial products. Specificoutcomes of the technology management internship included enhanced analytical skills intechnology assessment, identification of viable commercialization technologies, and patentlandscape assessments.By the conclusion of this first 6-week summer DeFINE program, the following outcomes wereproduced. Over 40 clinicians participated as clinical design collaborators in the areas of plasticsurgery, sports medicine, pediatric surgery, minimal access and bariatric surgery, thoracic andoncology surgery, interventional radiology, otolaryngology surgery, OBGYN, and vascularsurgery. In summary, the opportunities afforded to the 18 students included 106 observedsurgical procedures, 227 hours observed in the clinic, and 723 hours observed in the operatingroom. By way of 470+ hours devoted to needs documentation and formal video log with theclinical design collaborators, the 18 DeFINE students identified 1000+ clinical needs. Thisdatabase of clinical needs has since been distributed to the current BioE Senior Design students,many of which have taken the opportunity to solve one of these 1000+ DeFINE-identifiedclinical unmet needs. The DeFINE Program will continue for four additional summers, seekingto further engage bioengineering students in the experiential learning and immersive experiencesassociated with the clinical biomedical design process.
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