Medical Device Sandbox

A Creative Learning Experience for Engineering Students and Medical Learners

The objective of the Medical Device Sandbox (MDS) is to promote engaged interdisciplinary learning between medical learners and students from a variety of disciplines who are interested in the design, development, use, regulation, and commercialization of medical devices. It consists of a coordinated space and environment for engineering students and medical trainees to interact both with medical technology and with each other. The space is equipped with medical devices and accessories used in home, clinic, and hospital settings, and the interactions are facilitated through expert instruction as well as peer-led activities. The initial realization of the MDS targets second year medical students and residents, as well as senior undergraduate and MS-level biomedical engineering students, and also includes a K-12 outreach component. The participating learners perform team-based analysis and brainstorming on use of current equipment, with the goal of identifying design improvements. Prototyping supplies are provided to help refine and realize ideas.

The MDS is aimed at enhancing the interprofessional collaboration and learning that is critical to designing safe and effective medical equipment. It has transformative potential by instantly providing a creative space for physical and intellectual interaction between learners from different disciplines who share similar goals. Its initial implementation targets medical trainees and biomedical engineering students, but the MDS is designed to be scaleable and has the potential to impact a broad population of learners interested in medical device design and development. The Medical Device Sandbox therefore directly addresses the Third Century Initiative’s goal of creating novel, action-based immersive learning experiences, by providing a concrete resource to bridge the gap between abstract brainstorming and prototyping and invention.

Project Team

John Gosbee, Medical School

Rachael Schmedlen, College of Engineering

Jan Stegemann, College of Engineering