Students participate in training program
Four MSOE biomedical engineering students and a faculty member participated in the Biomedical Engineering Society Coulter College training program. The MSOE team was one of 12 selected for the exclusive program, and consisted of Logan Capizzi, Ploypairin Chongvatanabandit, William Haeuser and Amanda Ksioszk. Dr. Jeff LaMack ’97, director of MSOE’s biomedical engineering program, served as team advisor. The selection of teams was based largely on their interest in new medical technologies with a focus on health disparities.
“Through this immersive and hands-on experience, which was effectively a medical device entrepreneurship boot-camp, the students developed insights into the complexities of designing a medical device and successfully taking it to market,” LaMack said.
The MSOE team was asked to look at the inadequate availability of chronic pain treatments to patients in resource-constrained settings. Specially, the team aimed to improve treatment plan follow-through for patients who are limited by education or transportation—circumstances that can be encountered in the urban setting.
After completing webinars and pre-program assignments in early August, the team traveled to the Medtronic campus in Minnesota to work with experts in the field.
“It made me realize all the sides of engineering,” said Ksioszk. “It pushed me past my original ideas. I had to get creative, which can be difficult at times. I also learned about the amazing opportunities that going into industry has to offer.”
The team worked with a professional industrial designer, engineers from Medtronic, physicians and med-tech entrepreneurs to develop their engineering concept. Their device, known as PT Pro, is an at-home physical therapy treatment belt operated through a smart phone. PT Pro provides heat and cold therapy, guided physical therapy sessions, and a back-massage reward for completing physical therapy sessions. Other features include social networking capabilities, allowing patients to interact with others using the device for support and motivation. The team developed a business plan for the device and the workshop culminated in an investment pitch.
“Students will be able to apply these skills to their senior design projects, and knowledge of these crucial, but often neglected, topics will help prepare them for leadership roles in the biomedical engineering industry,” LaMack said.
Upon completing the program, students were also recognized as Coulter College Design Scholars. The BMES Coulter College is run by the Biomedical Engineering Society and is funded through the Coulter Foundation. This was the first time MSOE participated in the program.