Last fall a group of students in the MBA Product Innovation class, which is sponsored by the NC State’s ASSIST Research Engineering Center, continued to work on their idea after the term ended and then entered this work in the NASA Tech Brief’s “Create the Future” Contest Medical Devices category. The members of team are James Dieffenderfer, a BME student working in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Mike Brown, a Masters graduate of the College of Design; and Leigh Johnson who received her MBA from the NCSU Jenkins Graduate School. The members report that the multidisciplinary composition of their team was fundamental to moving this idea beyond the Product Innovation class.
Their entry, VitalFlo a compact hand held spirometer for asthmatics, was among 75-80 entrants in the Medical Devices category. The final product offers a reliable monitoring solution that helps consumers monitor their breathing, while delivering an education solution showing the best ways to manage and treat changes in their breathing through integration with their smart phone. The vitalflo device progressed through: conception (using situational analysis tools); product development; engineering / technical advancements; and finally business planning that included financial analysis and marketing strategy. The advantage of having professionals from a variety of backgrounds allowed for the simulation of a real-world company and the conception of a fully functional, market-ready device.
The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has attracted more than 8,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students worldwide. The contest’s principal sponsors are COMSOL and Tech Briefs Media Group. The judging consists of a 24-person panel of senior engineers and scientists. To learn more about VitaFlo follow this link: http://contest.techbriefs.com/2013/entries/medical/by-views/3845-vitalflo