Final Stretch of the Fall Semester

Fall semester classes are over and finals have begun! The other GMI students and I have been hard at work these last few weeks putting the finishing touches on our individual projects and generating concepts for our group design project.

My implementation project (Outstenting) has progressed a good amount since my last post. I was able to conduct a tissue study on an animal model at the end of November with the existing prototype and gathered a lot of great information. The tissue study highlighted areas that still need improvement in the prototype, and also gave me a more realistic picture of what the device will look like when used in a biological environment. Next semester I hope to continue the momentum I gained at the end of this semester in order to implement some of the improvements I identified and progress further into testing and manufacturing of the device.

For the group design project, our aim by the end of the semester was to have generated concepts for our top 3 needs, then select the top 3 concepts overall that could move to prototyping next semester. Our top three needs cover a range of topics in the medical field, such as pediatric cardiology and peritoneal dialysis, and are applicable to markets in the US, India, and Costa Rica. At this point, we have narrowed to the top 3 brainstormed concepts for each need. In the next day or so, we will screen all nine of these concepts to determine the top 3 that will be considered for our project moving into the spring. The process of concept generation and research has been more challenging than any of my previous experiences as the focus of the needs has been changing and evolving as we move further along and learn more about the underlying problem of each need. Despite these challenges, it has been a rewarding experience seeing the needs we generated from clinical observations further developed into plausible concept solutions.

The first semester of GMI has been jam-packed everyday since August. I have learned a great deal about the medical device industry and product development, and have also learned quite a bit about myself as a person, as a leader, and as a teammate. Looking ahead, I am incredibly excited for the spring semester to come! Because I took two of the required three electives this semester, my course load outside of the GMI implementation and design projects will be quite light. The extra time I will have in my schedule will allow me to focus a bit more on my individual implementation project, job searching, and, with enough planning, enable me to get back in touch with some of my hobbies, such as rowing!

Look out for my next blog post sometime at the top of 2017! Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

-Michael

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