Health Innovation Fellowship

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How was the BENEFIT bootcamp 2021?

Finally, the time has come to share this space with the BENEFIT Fellows 2021 as promised in our first blog post! We gave the fellows carte blanche to write about their impressions and experiences of the first three weeks.
Here is what they would like to share with you:

Our bootcamp in hindsight

The BENEFIT Health Innovation Fellowship officially kicked off and we just completed our 3-week introduction Bootcamp.

Our journey began on the TU Delft campus where we all got to know each other.
For the BENEFIT coordinators this was an exciting event because their communication had been online so far. Inge described this beautifully as “At last I can finally see your beautiful legs as well”. 

The Biodesign method was introduced by Professor Maarten De Vos and Biodesign alumna Akvile Zalatoryte. We guess that from that moment on 'problem, population, outcome' and 'identify, invent, implement' officially became part of our DNA.

Our minds weren’t only filled with theory these first days. We got inspired through visits to great innovative healthcare places such as RoboHouse in Delft where we learned more about robotics applications in a variety of settings and contexts. 

At the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, we saw how the PillPick® medication robot has improved efficiency and safety in the hospital pharmacy. The Create4care team showed us how direct input of care professionals can lead to meaningful solutions such as the HappyBreak for opening vials without getting your fingers cut.

Throughout the following Bootcamp weeks we were prepared for the rest of the year. Strong foundations were laid through a short-term team project, theoretical classes by experts within their field and inspiring testimonials. We were introduced to the Dutch and Belgian healthcare structure, ethics within healthcare and economics and much more.

The interactive way of teaching with questions and discussions was very much appreciated. At the same time, we tried to get through the Biodesign handbook, which we probably all underestimated at the beginning. 

For us, the highlights of the bootcamp were definitely the inspiring testimonials from other Biodesign experts. A particularly big thank you to Mikesh Udani from Albus Health (alumnus from Oxford) and Dr. Jozef Bartunek (alumnus from Stanford) for sharing their enticing experiences in detail. Their talks really illustrated “all it takes” to identify, invent and implement innovations in healthcare.

In the third week of our bootcamp we travelled to Leuven. We followed hands-on workshops from KU Leuven KICK at Studio Start regarding pitching and business models.

The coolest part of the trip was the visit to Health House. Health House is a center of expertise showcasing the future of health and care based on scientifically validated content and the impact technology will have on this future. Think of artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, wearables and nanotechnology.

BENEFIT Fellows 2021 visit Health House in Leuven

Now our bootcamp is completed and we're off to the real world to find our clinical need during the immersion weeks. The Dutch team will be immersed in two general practices and the Belgian team in the Daywards Oncology at UZ Leuven. We are eager and excited for the coming year and are very curious as to what solution we might develop for our most pressing clinical need. 

The 'unknown' at this stage is both exhilarating and daunting but we are very motivated to create valuable innovation in healthcare. So watch this space!

Huguette & Andreas
on behalf of the BENEFIT Fellows 2021