Students Team Up to Create Medical Device


(Photo by Preston Zubal)

(Photo by Preston Zubal)
(Photo by Preston Zubal)

Imagine what might happen if a mixture of business, science, engineering and art students were put into one room and offered $70,000 in prizes for producing an innovative medical device.
The Bench-2-Bedside project, a student program through the U, does just that.
According to the Center for Medical Innovation, Bench-2-Bedside has become the most popular student program at the U. The purpose of this program is to provide students with the opportunity to collaborate across departments and produce a medical device.
Teams are given a $500 start-up fund and mentoring advice across a 6-month period, leading up to a final competition.
Antigone Kithas, a medical student at the U’s School of Medicine, said he thinks the project will help provide medical practicioners with tools they need.
“[Because] I’m in med school, I know what the need clinically would be,” Kithas said. “But I don’t necessarily have the tools to solve it on my own.”
Jacob Bartlett, a junior in electrical engineering, also said he thinks there is a growing need for medical tools.
“My wife works in the medical field and she will tell me about things that she needs or would like to have changed,” Bartlett said. “As an engineer I can address these issues from a different perspective. This program stood out to me because I already know what is going on in the medical field because of my wife, but I am able to use what I have learned and actually solve the problem.”
The first workshop for the competition was held last Tuesday in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building and provided interested students with information about the competition and presented the opportunity to form teams.
Students in attendance were given color coded badges specific to the field they specialize in. Gold for engineers, blue for business, red for health sciences and white for any other fields interested in getting involved.
Zakary Wilde, a senior in mechanical engineering, is looking to combine things he has learned from his degree with the project. His senior project is to create a glove that will aid in therapy for children.
Regardless of the competition, Wilde intends on pursuing
this project.
“I would love the opportunity to win, but even if I don’t win, this competition still gives my glove great exposure as well as the opportunity to meet with people that could potentially make my project a reality,” Wilde said.
Wilde also said he hopes to see more of these types of events take place.
“We are living in a world where everything is integrated,” he said. “Be it in physical, biological or intellectual properties, everything is connected. As an engineer, I can see the way in which everything has a mechanical system behind it.”
Although this is the largest workshop for the competition, students can still get in on the action.
Secondary kick-off events will take place at more centralized locations to cater to that specific student population. Each session will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Health science students are invited to the Health Sciences Education Building, room 1750 on Oct. 7, engineers to the Catmull Gallery in the Warnock Engineering Building on Oct. 8 and business students to room 7180 of the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building on Oct. 9.
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