Innovating for Resource-poor Regions
The University of Utah Center for Medical Innovation and the Department of Bioengineering have developed a unique multidisciplinary partnership in medical device development to improve healthcare in resource poor areas. We leverage the strengths of interdisciplinary innovation teams with a robust program in global surgery. Our first collaborative case involved a group of students in our multidisciplinary graduate track in medical device innovation who chose to develop a product that would impact medical care in developing countries. The team, composed of bioengineering graduate students, medical students and MBA students used global surgery faculty as stakeholders to understand the needs of a medically underserved region in Africa. Together they designed and developed a new mobile laparoscope that provides a high-quality image without the need for standard complex, expensive and heavy integrated imaging and lighting equipment. The resultant product is lightweight, portable and independent of a reliable electrical grid.