Author(s): Jawad T Ali, Sarah Mayes, Heather Haeberle, Margo Cousins
The MedTech Innovation Course (MTIC) seeks to recreate the synergy of the Biodesign Fellowships in an accessible and reproducible format. The aligning needs of engineering students, clinicians, and medtech companies create a fertile environment.
A clinician and biotech company co-sponsors a student engineering team in a structured format. Two trial Courses were conducted at the University of Texas at Austin. The cosponsorship structure was laid out in the initial Statement of Work and intellectual property (IP) agreements were signed before the Course commenced.
The initial Course partnered with an inventor-led start-up with a hydrogel membrane that needed development of a laparoscopic tool to aid in delivery during surgery in order to decrease the formation of harmful adhesions. The second Course utilized lessons from the first and demonstrated the versatility of the model as the team worked with a mobile health platform to develop a careplan for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Novel survey instruments, a functional careplan, and a clinical trial were successfully designed.
The MTIC addresses the mutual needs of engineering students, medtech companies, and clinicians. Our initial trials prove its feasibility and open the door for future growth.