Abstract

The rapidly changing healthcare landscape requires continuous innovation by clinicians, yet generating ideas to improve patient care is often problematic. This paper describes the development of a digital tool used in an interprofessional program designed to enhance collaborations between clinicians, undergraduate, and graduate STEM students, particularly biomedical engineering (BME). The program founders began by connecting clinicians and students through a course portal in a learning management system (LMS). They eventually secured internal funding to create an open access tool for posting and viewing problems, allowing interprofessional teams to rally around healthcare challenges and create prototypes for solving them. Results after three years of the program's inception have been encouraging, as teams have created devices and processes that have led to intellectual property disclosures, provisional patents, grant funding, and other productive interprofessional relationships. The open access tool has given clinicians and STEM students an outlet for convenient team formation around unsolved clinical problems and allowed a fluid exchange of ideas between participants across a variety of clinical disciplines.

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