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Open Access Building Innovation Capacity and Acumen: Re-thinking How to Converge Engineering and Clinical Medicine

The benefits of collaborative medical innovation generated by engineers and clinicians are clearly palpable in institutional transdisciplinary programs. The majority of these programs, however, focus on exposing and training engineers within medical settings or were originally built and designed for this purpose. A clear lack of opportunity exists for clinicians to be equally trained in engineering. Specifically, enhanced access, support, and guidance are needed to immerse clinicians in engineering disciplines to develop technical skills through curated programs. New programming should focus on bidirectional immersion, ultimately reimagining the traditional collaboration of transdisciplinary programs. As a result of these initiatives, vocabulary, acumen, and approaches will be shared and adopted. Furthermore, institutions should prioritize mandates to drive a collaborative culture to foster innovation for successful, lasting implementation. This brief report discusses existing programs, identifies current gaps, and proposes potential solutions to promote engineering immersion for clinicians. A bidirectional clinical and engineering immersion paradigm is outlined as a model, and key themes within the process of research and development are defined. The impact that bidirectional programs will have on health care is highlighted as gaps are bridged between science, engineering, and medicine. Finally, recommendations for engineering and medical schools are offered to build innovation capacity and acumen.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Engineering, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY, USA 2: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA 3: Institute for Invention, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY, USA 4: Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2022

This article was made available online on January 3, 2023 as a Fast Track article with title: "BUILDING INNOVATION CAPACITY AND ACUMEN: RE-THINKING HOW TO CONVERGE ENGINEERING AND CLINICAL MEDICINE".

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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