In summer 2014, six engineering students and three management students were chosen to work on collaborative medical device development projects in a summer internship program co-sponsored by the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the School of Management at Bucknell and the Geisinger Health System (GHS). Each project involved a multidisciplinary team working to identify relevant clinical technology problems, conceptualize and propose potential solutions, pursue the development and prototyping of a chosen solution, and incorporate appropriate marketing strategy information. At the conclusion of the summer, each team had produced a prototype medical device aimed at addressing a specific healthcare technology problem. For the summer program, the projects included:
- RadArm: Left Wrist Stabilization Device: a novel method for stabilizing the left arm for left-wrist catheterization (Team: Kalie Brumbaugh '15 Biomedical Engineering, Carly Riemann '15 Markets, Innovation and Design, Zander Slavitz '15 Mechanical Engineering and mentored by Dr. Petra Lynch, Interventional Cardiology)
- Tube Trap: A Line of Chest Tube Fixation Devices: a family of new devices for securing chest tubes (Team: Sarah Denning '16 Biomedical Engineering, Mary Helen Schwartz '15 Biomedical Engineering, Galen Spencer-Linzie '15 Markets, Innovation and Design and mentored by Dr. Leo Vollmer, Emergency Medicine)
- Surgical Skill Assessment Simulator: a custom, surgical training simulator designed to assist in developing residents' skills in open abdominal surgeries (Team: Ian Harding '15 Biomedical Engineering, Mitch Kulczycki '15 Mechanical Engineering, Megan Smith '15 Markets, Innovation and Design and mentored by Dr. Mohsen Shabahang, General Surgery)
In this 10-week program, three teams worked with clinicians at Geisinger along with both engineering and management faculty at Bucknell. The students included four biomedical engineers, two mechanical engineers, and three students in the Markets, Innovation, and Design program in the School of Management. While each of the teams included two engineers and one management student, all three of the teams interacted as a larger device design group over the summer to enhance the progress of each project as well as the skills of the students. At Bucknell the teams were advised by Professors Dan Cavanagh and Eric Kennedy from Biomedical Engineering and Professor Seth Orsborn from the School of Management.
In their efforts on these projects, the students both utilized and enhanced their skills in areas such as stakeholder analysis, conceptual modeling, rapid-prototyping, engineering design, prototype testing, intellectual property, regulatory matters, market analysis, project documentation, and project communication. At the end of the program, the students expressed their appreciation for this 'strong interdisciplinary experience' in which they were able to have a hands-on experience with the design process, spend significant time in the clinical environment, and participate in the project identification process with the clinical mentors. From the mentor perspective, the program was appreciated for its role as a creative outlet for physicians and its ability to motivate physicians to constantly ask if current procedures or devices can be improved. Overall, the program is able to deliver valuable benefits to all involved and produce prototypes of potentially impactful healthcare technologies. While the surgical simulator will be utilized in spring 2015 in Geisinger's General Surgery residency program, Bucknell and Geisinger are collaboratively evaluating the future potential of the other two developed prototypes.
Bucknell's Department of Biomedical Engineering and Geisinger have been collaborating on medical device design projects each summer since 2006. The formation of multidisciplinary teams to include students from the School of Management and students from engineering disciplines besides biomedical engineering began in 2012 and has greatly enhanced the quality and scope of the projects. Support for this program is provided by Geisinger Health System and Bucknell University, including the College of Engineering, School of Management, Provost's Office, and the Emmitt Memorial Chair in Biomedical Engineering.