Hospital Partnerships: Providing the platform for physicians and engineers to collaborate

What we learned during an open dialogue with GCMI, Piedmont Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and West Tennessee Health on pulling new medtech ideas out of the clinical mindspace and into development.

Hospitals are hotbeds for innovative, value-based clinical medtech solutions. Identifying unmet clinical needs in hospital settings, along with the guidance and resources to vet them and foster proper development is a significant, though not an insurmountable challenge.

Tiffany Wilson, CEO of The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) & T3 Labs, Sherry Farrugia, Director of Pediatric Technology Center, a collaboration between Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Dr. John W. Henson, MD, Chief of Oncology Services for Piedmont Healthcare, and Lisa Piercey, MD, Executive Vice President of West Tennessee Healthcare talked through the responsibility of the medtech ecosystem in innovation and how we can better work together to help clinicians or healthcare professionals develop their novel medtech ideas. One theme was repeatedly stressed- when you provide and encourage the opportunity for clinicians and engineers to work together, that’s when real innovation happens.

Here are a few highlights from the information packed 30 minute webinar.

Tiffany Wilson- What have you seen in the evolution of hospitals providing resources to physicians for innovation and what are things we can do internally to facilitate this process?

Sherry Farrugia

It is important to spend time and allocate resources to provide engineers access to the hospitals and access to the patients and to make sure that clinicians are 100% involved in the development of innovations. I can say we do not fund medical device development that does not have a clinician involved. The key is listening to and helping the clinician solve a problem they see in the clinical space so that the whole process is truly translational in nature.

Lisa Piercey

There are so many clinicians with academic backgrounds that want to participate and have chosen to develop medical technologies because that action solves a real problem. We have had a few clinicians, nurses, and frontline employees that have seen a clinical need and didn’t know where to start. Those are the people with whom we work with and to whom we provide resources. It is crucial to have them work with engineers because often times the end outcome or device is different than what the physician originally had in mind; and it’s usually better!

Dr. John Henson

Piedmont Healthcare wanted to provide a pathway for physicians to develop their medical device ideas. Initially we knew that would be quite the undertaking for Piedmont so we looked for a partner to put those innovations on the path to commercialization because it is complicated: GCMI. We now have a program and series of pitch rounds where the committee, with the guidance of GCMI, chooses a winner and that physician then works with GCMI to develop that idea and let me say, this has been a great advancement for our organization.

Tiffany Wilson- One truth we all know is that innovation takes collaboration- no one can do this on their own. Where have you seen the most value in collaboration?

Lisa Piercey

The most value has come from just opening up the conversation. Working with hospitals and public institutions and being in tune with each other’s needs has been what pushes us forward.

Sherry Farrugia

It’s not just the hospital partnerships, it is like Lisa said. Working with Health Connect South, The Chamber, TAG, and others, those partnerships are what have introduced us to other partners. We would not be able to innovate and fund these physicians if it was not for our partners.

You can watch the webinar in full below.

The Global Center of Medical Innovation (GCMI) and its wholly owned subsidiary T3 Labs, is the world’s leader in driving efficient medical product innovation. Using our proven high-quality processes, our expert staff works alongside physician innovators, hospital teams, Fortune 500s, start-ups, academic and government funded innovators every day to commercialize innovative medical devices and products, including drugs and biologics, that improve quality based outcomes and delivery of healthcare for patients.

Are you seeking a partner to help navigate your novel medical device from concept to cure through preclinical and then commercialization? Contact GCMI and T3 Labs today to learn more about the robust medical device ecosystem and the Southeast’s available resources for innovators.