New Semester, Here we go

Semester Blog: 1

The semester (and the year) have begun. My class load is reasonable all things considered: a Biostatistics class, a Bioengineering Professional Development class of sorts, and then the two classes related to the GMI program specifically.

A brief breakdown of the GMI class structure:

We, as students within the GMI program, are given two primary projects (acting as “mini theses” for lack of a better comparison). One project is considered a design project. We, as a team within the GMI program, research current medical needs within both our community and the medical industry abroad, decide on a project, and design and test the potential solution(s). The second project is considered the implementation project. These projects are individual and all already at different stages of completion. It is our job to become (rapidly!) familiar with where these projects are at and carry them forward with potential design modifications, clinical trials, and implementation strategies.

For now, there isn’t much to say on the Design Project side. The team is getting to know each other on an academic level and this week marks the first major steps into identifying potential needs. Thursday (8/31) was a collaborative trip to various hospitals to observe the Houston-area medical community and more opportunities are to come.

As for the implementation projects, I’ve been given a project based in Brazil, focused on Melanoma in low-income communities. The device under question has already undergone the first round of clinical trials among potential users in Brazil but the initial design is rudimentary. My first step will be to review the mechanical aspect of this device for areas of improvement as well as analyze the market needs for Brazil.

The most challenging part so far is not the technical aspect (honestly, I haven’t even begun to look), but rather the collection of two years’ worth of data into something usable. Two different teams have worked on this project and data organization is…lacking. Finding the necessary information, prototypes, and accessing various test methods have been a small frustration but now, two weeks in, I’m glad to say I have a more firm grasp on where the project currently stands.

Blog posts will be coming once a month now so I’m sure I’ll have much more to say come October!

See you in a bit,

Jeannette

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