As we near the end of the Costa Rica portion of GMI, it is time to start focusing on our implementation projects! Thus, at the beginning of the week, the MilkyWaves team (Hannah, Christine, Theresa, and me) made a trip to visit Dr. Vargas at Hospital Mexico. We weren’t able to visit the neonatologists at Hospital de Niños due to scheduling conflicts, but Dr. Vargas, who is involved with GMI through Consultika, was kind enough to spend some time with us and answer our questions about MilkyWaves. Although she is an OB/GYN and not a neonatologist, she was able to address our concerns regarding the environment of the NICU and how to set up clinical trials in Costa Rica, since she went through this process with Consultika. She also offered to put us in contact with neonatologists and other doctors, which will be very helpful as we make progress with the project. I am looking forward to working on this project at Rice and returning to Costa Rica in October to implement it!
Theresa and I were also able to discuss our mind oVR matter project with Dr. Vargas during this meeting. We explained that one of our next steps with the project was to set up cameras in operating rooms in order to enhance clinical needs finding and learning. She excitedly expressed that there is a very similar need in Costa Rican operating rooms for medical students to observe and learn from surgical procedures, as it is difficult for many students to crowd around an operating table and see what they need to see. It’s cool to see that our Houston-based project has the potential to be applied globally, and this could, perhaps, be a project idea for the future.
At Boston Scientific this week, Kevin and I spent a lot of time in the Engineering Lab helping the guidewire team perform validation testing on manufactured units. We performed a rotations test with a large apparatus that was supposed to simulate exaggerated human conditions to ensure that if one end of the guidewire rotated three times, the other end of the guidewire would also rotate three times. This test is important because if the end of the guidewire that is in the patient does not behave the way the physician wants it to, this could result in unnecessary user complication and potential surgical issues. After the rotations test, we conducted a bend deformation test. This test involved putting a segment of the guidewire under some load on an Instron and recording the angle of deformation after the load was applied. This quality test was to make sure the guidewire could withstand a large load and not experience any deformation larger than a pre-determined maximum angle.
On a less technical and more sentimental note, this blog post is the last of our summer blogs, and I am feeling a mix of emotions. I am super excited to see my family and friends again after two months, but I will miss our time in Costa Rica. Spending essentially every waking minute with a group of people can do some great (and not so great…but mostly great) things. I am so glad to have met and spent so much time with everyone in this cohort and am looking forward to spending the next year with these new friends. We won’t all be in the same apartment complex, which is actually something I think I’ll miss, but we will be spending a lot of time with each other in the OEDK and BRC. It’s going to be weird not seeing them for TWO WHOLE WEEKS (!!!), but I think I’ll survive. Regarding Boston Scientific, I will miss the very open, social Costa Rican work environment and culture, but I will miss the people there the most. All of my coworkers and everyone else I have met have been great company and so welcoming towards me and our whole group. It will be a very difficult goodbye, but maybe it’ll be a “see you later”. This is going to be a bittersweet week, but I look forward to ending this experience on a positive note. See you later, Costa Rica!