Design News, May 2013

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M E D I CA L DESIGN APPLICATIONS Wish-List Devices for Physicians MIT engineering students came up with a number of devices that doctors want. BY ELIZABETH MONTALBANO, CONTRIBUTING WRITER T10 T REND WAT C H : ME D I C A L / A S U P P L E M E N T T O D E S IGN NE WS MAY 2013 magenta cyan yellow black [www.designnews .com] ES245702_DNTW1305_T10.pgs 05.03.2013 01:41 UBM Source: Isa C. T. Santos M Many physicians at one time or Boston area through the Cenanother have probably thought ter for Integration of Medicine their job would be a lot easier and Innovative Technology if they had a custom-made (CIMIT), a nonprofit consordevice to help them perform a tium of Boston teaching hospiprocedure or an examination. tals and universities. Physicians For the past nine years, a class whose designs are chosen -- 12 at the Massachusetts Institute to 15 -- then present their ideas of Technology has been making before the class, and students some of these wishes reality, at get to select the ones they want least for doctors in the Boston to work on, of which there area. typically are nine. "We don't do Precision Machine Design team manipulation," HanumaThe SleepShirt was designed by students in — also known by its course ra told us. "If we pick properly MIT's Precision Machine Design class in 2010 and is now being commercialized by Rest number, 2.75 — allows docwith a wide array of projects, Devices, a startup formed by some who worked the students find something tors to submit proposals for on the project. devices they would like to see they are interested in." developed and, if their idea is Each team then has a budselected, a team of about three to five students will deget of about $3,000 to $5,000 and the duration of the sign and build a proof of concept of what they're lookcourse to design and fabricate the device. They are ing for. Though not all of the technology gets commer- guided by Slocum and Hanumara, who act more as cially produced or put into practice, it gives physicians project managers then typical professors because of the a glimpse of the potential for future medical devices, as time constraint and the hands-on nature of the course. well as an opportunity to do research to inform the field They also work closely with the physicians who proof medical devices, which is becoming increasingly posed the devices. more high-tech. "The key thing is that everybody in the class has to "Many physicians in the Boston area have pent-up be able to do the math, the analysis, the real dimendesires," Nevan C. Hanumara, a former student of the sion drawings," as well as have the skills to machine the course who now co-teaches it as an MIT post doctoral device and source materials for what they're building, associate, told Design News. "They are very good at Slocum told us. "You really have only 12 weeks from what they do, and they recognize that they don't have concept to reality, and everybody who is involved in the the tools to do as good a job as they would like to do." class has to be able to do real in-the-weeds work. It's a The course was developed in 2004. It was inspired by different model. There are a lot of good hands-on a conceptual design course in the MIT Sloan School of design classes … but we tend to be on the extreme end Management that was folded into a design-and-build of producing real hardware. engineering class taught in part by Professor Alex SloSome of that hardware is going beyond prototype cum. Every spring since then Slocum and his class have and making its way to the commercial market. One been making a call for proposals to physicians in the notable result came from a proposal to create a device to

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