Understandably, due to high research and development costs, the expense of clinical trials and market factors, an innovative medical device always carries a high premium price.This causes the equipment to be unattainable to many who are impoverished living in rural areas.
The primary target outcome would be to encourage engineers to develop innovative ways of producing low cost medical devices which are made out of sustainable and recyclable materials.As a result,we would like to form a low cost medical device competition.
The intended competition design involves providing real world problems to current high school, undergraduates and postgraduate students to solve. This can be done by asking hospitals within that area to provide data on the diseases that are currently prevalent within the community and their exponential growth.This competition would be an incubator programme where participants and mentors work together to shape the final proposal before sending it off to the judges (local healthcare providers). The mentors would be stakeholders from healthcare industries such as companies, healthcare practices and clinics depending on their area of expertise.Some companies include Mediplus and Medtronic.
Throughout this month-long competition, there would be several programmes teaching to those who are interested in programming, robotics and more.There would also be events where stakeholders take participants to their factories to offer them more exposure to their research and production sectors.This would also enable more interactive conversations between the stakeholders (mentors) and the participants.The winners of the competition would be provided with funds by the stakeholders to further better their innovation much like Sime Darby’s Young Innovator’s Challenge that is held in Malaysia yearly.
The cost of producing the winning idea of this would be around 30000 pounds and it will be stated in the problem statement, allowing participants leeway of production costs when designing their product.Making this a win-win situation for both the patients, participants and the stakeholders, Corporate Social Responsibility would be in placed by the government where these companies would have a large tax reduction.Their involvement would also help with their company’s PR where people would be more inclined to purchasing their products.For the participants, depending on their level of education, insight weeks, internships or graduate schemes would be available and offered to the participants.
From this,we plan to have further implications of the winning designs. We intend to focus on people who are unable to obtain these resources.We plan to formulate ways to send these medical devices to rural areas but also ensuring quality control as well as producing an ecosystem of volunteer healthcare workers who aid residents in those rural areas in terms of utilising these medical devices (medical students).
Aside from that, we want to refine current mechanisms and materials used for medical devices to improve their quality and functionality by bringing in fresh ideas from a range of ages.Finally, we would also want to promote inclusivity amongst the younger generation whereby they do not only focus on the status quo when developing medical devices.