Saturday, November 9, 2013

Engineeringcare? New IDEA Fosters Interaction with Healthcare and Engineering

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
By Allison Braun

Allison Braun
Chien-Huan Chen, MD, PhD, talks with students interested in devising new technology to help explore the small intestine. He discussed concerns with current tools at IDEA Labs’ inaugural “Problem Day” earlier this month.

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.


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