We are now over halfway through the first semester of GMI! It’s flying by, but I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished so far.
My implementation project, a pulse oximeter for minimally invasive fetal surgeries, has been keeping me busy. I’ve finished the initial stage of learning everything I could about the problem at hand and what the senior design group from last year has designed as a solution. I’ve now been brainstorming ideas to improve the current device with our collaborator at Texas Children’s Hospital and I’m almost ready to start building some new prototypes. I’m also getting in contact with potential manufacturers for the device to eventually make it a reality.
Our team will also be working on a design project together, and it is up to us to find a problem in the medical field that we want to try to solve. Through observations both in Costa Rica and here in Houston, conversations with physicians, and internet searches, we successfully made a list of 300 needs throughout many area of medicine. We were then tasked with finding our top needs from the huge list. Some of the things we needed to consider in choosing our top needs were the feasibility of creating a solution in a limited amount of time, the connections and support we have in each area of medicine, and our interest and excitement about solving the need. We have now narrowed down our list to just five that we will do extensive research on and begin brainstorming solutions for.
In addition to my implementation project and design project, I am taking two courses this semester, Statistics and DNA Biotechnology. I am also a teaching assistant for the Capstone senior design course. Balancing all of this has been different than just taking classes with deadlines for problem sets and exams. For our GMI projects, especially our implementation projects this semester, it is up to us to set goals for ourselves and achieve them. We have check-ins with Dr. Richardson to discuss our progress, but we are able to decide what aspects of the project we will focus our time on in order to bring the project as far as possible by the end of the year. It’s a different balancing act that has its challenges, but will be great experience for industry.