Biomedical Engineering and Industrial Design Students Collaborate in Design Sprint for Healthcare Solutions | VTx

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Through feedback from patient advocates and healthcare professionals, students learned research skills, incorporated feedback into proposed solutions, and worked with technical systems to prepare prototypes of potential solutions in the field.

During the summer design sprint, students then had the opportunity to brainstorm innovative designs to help solve problems encountered in pediatric nephrology. After the initial brainstorming, the students prototyped and tested their designs.

“The passion and creativity of the students was truly inspiring,” said Arena, director of experiential learning in biomedical engineering and mechanics. “In just five days, they were able to integrate information from different stakeholders and come up with unique solutions to make the home dialysis process less intimidating for patients and caregivers. In addition, they built functional prototypes that took advantage of the complementary skills of biomedical engineers and industrial designers. “

Each student brought their own academic perspective to the group, teaching their teammates while gaining new knowledge from others, Morshedzadeh said. This combination of interdisciplinary collaboration and access to resources has given rise to new ideas and innovative solutions.

For the testing phase, the students brought their designs to Carilion Clinic Simulation, Research and Patient Safety Center. Sarah Henrickson Parker, associate research professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, directs human factors research at the simulation center and oversaw the testing of student prototypes. Parker, who is also an associate research professor at College of Sciencesthe Department of Psychology and the Departments of Surgery and Basic Science Education Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, also supervised students during the final phase of the tests.

Students also had access to other mentors in related fields, including John Robertson, research professor in biomedical and mechanical engineering and doctor of veterinary medicine, and Andre Muelenaer, practice professor in biomedical and mechanical engineering and Virginia Tech Carilion. School of Medicine, in addition to being a leader TEAM Malawi, a transdisciplinary collaboration based on a community well-being health model. The students were also mentored by healthcare professionals who work in home hemodialysis at Valley Nephrology Associates. The diverse backgrounds of the mentors provided perspectives for the students to apply.


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