Accelerating product development
Innovation Akademiska runs an open test bed with the aim to shorten development timelines, lower thresholds and reduce time to implementation for medical technology concepts, products and services. The test bed provides access to clinical expertise for advice and environments for clinical evaluation and testing as well as experience; the project managers all have extensive experience from product development from medical technology and other areas. The organisation works to develop structures to allow continuous validation and collaborations, to make sure investments in time and money generates as much value for patients as possible.
The close collaboration with the clinics is facilitated by Innovation Akademiska’s involvement in activities such as project definition and setup, drawing up contracts and legal disclosures, project and test management. By building mutual trust, fruitful relationships are established. Innovation Akademiska claims no intellectual property or ownership, and by non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality can be maintained while obtaining relevant input for product development.
Innovation Akademiska was established in 2008 through joint efforts from the hospital board, Vinnova and Uppsala BIO. Since the start Innovation Akademiska have been in contact with over 100 companies for collaboration projects and worked with over 150 need based ideas from the hospital. The established collaboration projects cover a wide range of products, from high tech to high practise. What all projects have in common is that they match a need from patients or health care professionals.
Collaboration in practice
One illustrative example comes from a minor company run by a relative to a snorer. The frustration with the snoring resulted in an idea that has now been developed into a patent protected product for helping social snorers. For the certification process the company needed help to get in contact with experts within snoring for risk evaluation and to perform a usability test. When meeting with the experts the experts immediately saw a solution to another clinical need, and the collaboration was extended to include a clinical study of the product, which was a truly joint interest. Innovation Akademiska helped the company with access to clinical expertise and facilitated further clinical development and collaboration by supporting the start of the clinical study.
Another example of innovative products developed to meet clinical needs is advanced sensors. Innovation Akademiska was contacted by two entrepreneurs with extensive experience from product development of advanced medical devices. From previous experience they know the value of early clinical input before investing time and money into further development. Therefore they wanted, already at the stage where their company was formed, to meet clinical experts including established researchers and end users with in intensive care units. Innovation Akademiska identified the required experts and arranged workshops with the purpose of finding out if the ideas met actual clinical needs and to identify product demands regarding connectivity, usability and performance. The workshops were intense, positive and highly appreciated from both sides. The information collected and the validated needs are crucial for the company’s choice of development direction and also for raising funding for further development.
Innovation Akademiska is not only for start up companies. Also large established companies with global market presence can, and do repeatedly, work with Innovation Akademiska. One of the latest examples involves arranging usability testing of a product to meet regulatory requirements in US and Europe. The company needed a panel of testers, in this case surgeons, covering a range of experience levels. Innovation Akademiska were involved to make sure the tests could be done with confidentiality and in compliance with ethical and financial demands. Upon conclusion of the project an evaluation was performed by Innovation Akademiska, which showed that both the company and the individual testers gained knowledge from the project and the testers (surgeons from Uppsala University Hospital) were all willing to recommend to a colleague to participate in future projects.
The Innovative Hospital
Uppsala University Hospital is a full-scale university hospital with 8,000 employees and 1,100 beds. Each year there are 58,000 admissions, 330,000 physician encounters and 420,000 out-patient treatments.
We look for new, innovative solutions to make the best use of new technology, new scientific findings and new ways of working in order to solve medical problems and to continuously improve the way we take care of our patients.
The University Hospital has several different roles – county hospital, specialist hospital, training hospital and research hospital.
These various roles merge together in an average day, laying the foundation for and explaining the experience, expertise and empathy that exists here. This is what the University Hospital is all about.