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Unmet Clinical Needs

November 01, 2016
by Jeanna Lucci Canapari

On October 27, the Yale Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT), a YCCI emerging core, hosted Clinician Pitch Night. More than ninety students from Yale College, the School of Management, the School of Medicine, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences gathered to listen to pitches from clinicians seeking creative, efficient, and cost-effective solutions to challenging problems that arise in caring for patients.

CBIT is focused on combining unmet clinical needs with business analysis and technology development with the goal of catalyzing the implementation and commercialization of biomedical innovations. Bringing together such varied expertise to solve clinical problems holds enormous promise in terms of benefiting patients.

Clinicians had five minutes to present their ideas, which are in need of engineering design, market research, and business analysis in order to further develop them. The proposals included:

  • A patient-worn audio transcriptional device used to record patient medical history during appointments, allowing physicians to spend more time connecting with patients, and less time on paperwork (Dr. David Rosenthal, Internal Medicine)
  • A foamed polymer to temporarily occlude larger veins during treatment for liver disease (Dr. Felix Nautsch, Interventional Radiology)
  • An easier-to-use auto-injector for sedatives to treat agitated emergency patients (Dr. Jennifer Roh, Emergency Medicine)
  • Software that allows patients to pre-enter medical history into their electronic medical record prior to physician appointments, saving time on paperwork (Dr. Shawn Ong, Internal Medicine)
  • A personal spirometry device to monitor important pulmonary data at home (Kenny Winn, Respiratory Care Director)
  • A wireless bladder micromotion detector to better predict and treat urinary incontinence (Dr. Toby Chai, Urology)

Clinician Pitch Night is aimed at stimulating interdisciplinary collaboration, which is the hallmark of CBIT activities. The event was hosted at the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID), which since 2012 has served as a hub for collaborative design and interdisciplinary activity at Yale. Any member of the Yale community can become a member of CEID, after a brief training.

CBIT offers two spring classes for people interested in developing medical solutions: MGT/MD 657, New Ventures in Healthcare and the Life Sciences (for management and medical students), and Medical Software Design (course number TBD). CBIT also offers design fellowships and has partnered with CT Innovations to award $30,000 grants (next deadline April 2017).

In January, CBIT will host its signature event, the Healthcare Hackathon entitled "Imaging the Future." CBIT has partnered with Yale New Haven Hospital Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging to re-imagine how imaging happens. The Hackathon will occur on Jan. 20 - 22, and CBIT is looking for participants of all backgrounds and expertise (no imaging software/hardware skills necessary) to be participants and mentors. To get involved, email

Submitted by Lisa Brophy on November 18, 2016