We are now more than halfway through our time here in Costa Rica! This week, the GMI students and I took a break from our internships and participated in the Medical Technology Innovation short course taught by Rice professors, Dr. Richardson and Dr. Wettergreen. The short course was designed to teach medical technology product development, from concept generation to commercialization, and to provide experience working on an international, cross-disciplinary team. About 20 Costa Rican engineering students from different schools and disciplines were accepted to the course and worked alongside GMI students throughout the week to develop prototypes and solutions for various medical needs and challenges.
I worked on a team with four other engineers from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica (TEC), each of them studying a different engineering discipline, from Mechatronics Engineering to Industrial Engineering. Our team was tasked with developing an innovative solution for treating cardiac tamponade, a condition characterized by fluid build-up around the heart. This week was a great refresher course on the design process of medical technology. The course material was very familiar to me since much of the material was also taught in my capstone design course at Rice last year (also with Dr. Richardson).
It was extremely rewarding to see how quickly my team became interested and invested in our project, as well as to see the amount of hard work they put in despite the constrained time frame. Our hard work paid off at the end of the week, and my team took home first place in the design showcase that consisted of a 15-minute presentation about our solution, market analysis, and regulatory considerations.
This week brought back many fond memories of working with my capstone design team at Rice last year. Though it is sometimes a challenge to work collaboratively with a team, there is no better feeling than when a team comes together to create something everyone can be proud of, knowing each member worked as hard as they could to accomplish their shared goal.
I’m excited and ready for the last four weeks of my internship at Boston Scientific, and am eager to see what challenges and successes await me and the other GMI students in the weeks to come.