This week we took a break from our internships to participate in the Medical Technology Innovation short course taught by Dr. Richardson and Dr. Wettergreen from Rice. The class was held at Universidad de Costa Rica with students from several Costa Rican universities.
We were put into teams and spent the week learning about the process of medical device design and then applying the concepts to a design project. The first two days included doing research on our assigned project, establishing the criteria for our design, brainstorming solutions, and screening them to decide which one we would move forward with. By Wednesday we were ready to build our low fidelity prototype. This meant that the prototype would illustrate the main aspects of our design using very basic materials, so we built our device mostly of popsicle sticks, tape, straws, and paper clips. We then learned about and discussed how we could potentially move forward with our device, including strategies for manufacturing, receiving FDA approval, and applying for a patent.
Working with my team on all of this was a really exciting process. Each of the five of us has different majors within engineering, from Mechatronics Engineering to Industrial Engineering. Working in such an interdisciplinary team meant we each had different skills and ideas to contribute, and we all ended up working very well together. It was great to work with such passionate students that really want to make a difference in the field of medical technology for Costa Rica and the world. I had never gone through an engineering process so quickly before, and I was amazed by how much we accomplished in just five days. It was a great week filled with new friends and a very successful project!