LK 101Championing patient-centric innovation
LK 101Championing patient-centric innovation
Necessity is the mother of invention. Many of today’s common consumer products were simply the results of an individual inventor identifying a “pain point” and invent the remedy.
But what about life’s true pain points -- issues such as arthritis, hearing loss, or hospital-acquired infections? Where will the solutions for these and hundreds of other ailments come from? Medical-device innovation is a multi-billion dollar industry with researchers and product developers searching for ways to improve patient care and quality of life. But an often overlooked source for inspiration are those who live or work on the front lines of health care who and who have the necessary insight and expertise to add to the invention process.
By training, doctors always look for ways to heal patients and many successful medical inventions have resulted from an inquisitive and creative physician. In an article for Health Affairs, Alex Chatterii demonstrated that physicians account for almost 20 percent of approximately 26,000 medical-device patents filed in the United States from 1990 to 1996. Most physicians who file medical-device patents are not at academic institutions but in a group, two-physician practice or solo practice, Chatterji observed, suggesting that these individual inventors would apply for many more patents if they had fewer barriers to filing.
Nurses have also been prolific innovators in health care. Because nurses work so closely with patients, they often improvise ways to increase patient comfort, enhance treatment and facilitate care by developing workarounds: Myriad inventions have made their way from nurses' imagination into clinical practice.
Armed with medical knowledge and the compassion to provide care for those in need, doctors and nurses are in a perfect position to solve the problems facing health care. Involving these individuals in the dialogue about how to improve patient care is critical for ensuring that the solutions developed have the biggest and most meaningful impact possible.
Numerous paths can bring a health-care invention idea to life, but in all cases, true innovation occurs most optimally when the brilliant ideas of physicians, nurses, other caregivers and patients are connected to the stakeholders and organizations capable of helping to bring those ideas to life. In an industry that is ripe for disruption, patient-centric innovation will lead to the discovery and deployment of products and processes that improve the quality of care and positively affect patient outcomes.
Technological advances have enabled virtual marketplaces such as Edison Nation Medical to connect those who have brilliant ideas with the ability to have their ideas evaluated, developed, and potentially commercialized. For example, operating room nurse Ginny Porowski developed a simple yet novel way for more safely disposing of contaminated surgical gowns and reducing the spread of hospital-acquired infections. Porowski partnered with Edison Nation Medical and today the GoGown is licensed to Medline Industries, a multibillion-dollar distributor of medical products.
By providing those who work at the ground level of healthcare to have a voice in shaping innovation, patient care is being improved at a pace that never existed before in the past.
Julie Wheelan leads the Edison Nation Medical team in formulating break-through creative ideas to inspire action on the part of inventors, to shape the evolution of the Edison Nation Medical brand, and to elevate the meaning of innovation within healthcare. She combines a keen understanding of how to forge deep emotional connections with consumers with hands-on experience in a range of marketing disciplines to craft compelling global marketing campaigns, including support for innovation searches we conduct regularly in partnership with leading healthcare companies.
Julie has 20+ years experience in leading game-changing marketing and brand strategy efforts for world-class consumer/retail brands such as Harley-Davidson, Gap, Williams-Sonoma, Jamba Juice and Visa. She bring exceptional international marketing and branding experience, including helping Harley-Davidson to establish its brand presence in the Asia-Pacific Region and managing international marketing for Gap and GapKids. Immediately before joining Edison Nation Medical, Julie co-founded, launched and directed the Center for Integrative Health & Wellness at Marin General Hospital (Northern CA), an experience she equates to "swimming through the tsunami." In addition to providing a much needed resource for the Marin community, the experience also provided Julie with deep insights into the challenges and opportunities that exist within healthcare.
Julie received her MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Business (Northwestern University) and BA from Northwestern University.