My opinion: Though I don't have anywhere near as much engineering experience as many of my peers, from the few engineering classes I have taken, I must say this is a simple, yet very much needed forum. One of the hardest parts about engineering is figuring out where the faults are. Without knowing this, nothing can be accomplished. But since engineers aren't actively in medical facilities, it is probably difficult for them to perceive what these problems are. Perhaps they find out from reading articles and asking around, but there may still be some problems that evade the engineers. Ultimately, this program accelerates the engineering process, if not enhancing it altogether. I wonder if the medical industry could do similar forums with other groups. For example, they could get feedback from people who lack healthcare access, or doctors from other departments. Any more ideas? Feel free to comment.
IDEA Labs bridges medical, engineering gap
Students, faculty work together to solve clinical problems
October 28, 2013
By Allison Braun
One doctor wants a better chair to position patients during lumbar puncture procedures. Another wants a more accurate tool for small bowel exploration. And another wants to access patients’ medical information with the swipe of a card. These were among about 20 ideas presented by faculty during IDEA Labs’ inaugural “Problem Day” Oct. 11 in hopes that the 83 undergraduate, medical and graduate students who attended might be able to devise solutions.
IDEA Labs is a bioengineering design incubator founded last fall at Washington University in St. Louis as a joint venture of the schools of Medicine and Engineering & Applied Science and the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS). The program’s goal is to tackle unmet needs in health-care delivery and clinical medicine by fostering collaboration between students and faculty.