I wish the title was a joke, but it’s true, we only have one month left to go here at Rice. I guess this semester has just been so busy that I didn’t realize how quickly the time was passing by. I’m excited to begin my career in the industry, but at the same time, I think I’ll miss being a student. Luckily, in the medtech industry, the learning never ends.
Our trip to the Bay area was a ton of fun, and we got to visit several different companies, including IDEO, Medtronic, GE Healthcare, and Intuitive Surgical. At Intuitive, we were able to use the da Vinci machine, which was definitely the highlight of the trip!
As we begin to wrap up the semester, we still have a lot of work to do with Truvent. Chandler, Sanjana, and I have been working hard to try to develop an effective feedback system for BVM users in order to provide better ventilation for patients. As discussed in my previous blog, we decided to take a step back and pivot so that we can pursue other potential avenues for our system. We’ve continued to work on researching and developing some low fidelity prototypes of these ideas, including the hula skirt idea, a bubble wrap idea, and silicone interface. I was able to finally set up and run a quick test with a dry ice apparatus, which will be used to visually detect for leaks in the seal when we begin testing our prototype ideas. As we move forward, we will continue to develop our ideas and choose one to focus on and develop for the remainder of the semester. I was recently researching CPAP machines, because the masks used are extremely similar to BVMs, and I came across a CPAP mask that sparked a new idea for Truvent. This idea would change the goal of the project fairly significantly, so it will require much more research and discussion with experts before we can determine our next move. We have also been working hard on Sanjana’s project to ensure that we’re ready for our next trip to Costa Rica. This past week, I spent time developing a casing that would hold all of the electronic components of her device. I used CAD to develop the two pieces and then 3D printed them at the OEDK.
The VR project that I’m working on with Tasha and Chandler has gained some significant momentum recently. We received all of the components for our personal system and were finally able to set it up completely, just in time for the prospective GMI student visit! I also recently spoke to a representative from Materialise about their Mimics software, which can be used to convert 2D patient scans, such as MRI or CT, into 3D models. This is one of the potential options we could utilize to develop the anatomical visualization capability of our system, in addition to the virtual ethnography capability we are primarily focused on. Our next steps will be to test different 360-degree camera placements within the simulation center at Baylor College of Medicine and determine the best location (or locations) for our camera system, so that we can submit a protocol to the IRB in order to begin recording actual surgeries. Once we are able to complete that task, we will also begin looking more closely into other possible capabilities and collaborations for our system in the future.
My professional development course, Strategic Thinking, continues to challenge me and improve my problem-solving skills. We’ve moved into the “how” phase of the project, in which we generate all possible solutions for our project. As a reminder, my project is focused on developing a manufacturing and distribution strategy for the company that I’m interning with, Multisensor Diagnostics. This course has really taught me how to structure my thinking and provide better arguments so that my conclusions are better supported. Additionally, I’ve learned how to better communicate my thoughts to people outside of my field that don’t have the same understanding of certain concepts. Overall, the experiences from this course have helped me to develop skills that will be incredibly useful throughout my career.
The job hunt is still on. I have a couple of promising leads, and I am continuing to apply to open positions in my free time (if you could even call it that)! I’ve got a busy month ahead of me, with travel to Costa Rica, a heavy workload, the job search, and graduation, but I want to enjoy every minute of it, while I still can!