The goal of this project is to enhance the team-based biomedical engineering (BME) design program at the University of Michigan in ways that directly promote clinical immersion and experiential learning. Senior undergraduate and master's-level courses in the design curriculum are targeted. The main elements of the program are enhancements in: 1) Experiential learning through a 10-week summer clinical immersion program designed to create student peer mentors in clinical needs-finding, a newly developed inter-professional medical device sandbox , and expanded support for device prototyping and testing; 2) Specialist cross- disciplinary instruction in key topic areas that are best taught by practicing experts in the field, including medical device design controls, communication and teamwork, medical device reimbursement, healthcare public policy, and biomedical ethics; and 3) Outreach and networking through an annual MedTech Roadtrip and increased support of existing student outreach efforts to recruit a diverse student pool. The University of Michigan has excellent infrastructure and resources for BME Design, which will be leveraged to create an integrated and impactful program. All BME undergraduate students will benefit from this program through their participation in the capstone design experience. Master's-level BME students interested in medical device design also will be impacted through enhancements to advanced design classes. The program is structured to help students identify and understand current clinical problems, and to then apply design skills to develop focused and viable solutions. The program also educates students on the broader context of medical device development, including regulatory, legal, business, and ethical perspectives. Students learn to work and communicate effectively on multidisciplinary teams to tackle open-ended problems. The program and proposed enhancements will be regularly evaluated for both short- and long-term impact using established assessment and evaluation methods. Best practices and outcomes of the program will be disseminated through a dedicated BME Design web site and presentation at relevant professional meetings. This project aims to create the next generation of medical design engineers and directly supports NIBIB's mission of enabling the development and accelerating the translation of innovative biomedical technologies to improve health.
The development of new medical devices is a complex, team-based process that is influenced by technical, regulatory, business, legal and ethical considerations. This project will enhance the education and training of undergraduate and beginning graduate biomedical engineering students by providing opportunities experiential learning and clinical immersion. These experiences will illuminate and clarify the many issues that arise in team-based biomedical engineering design.