Creative problem solving: Henry Ford Health System looks to students for innovation

Oct 10, 2011

The next great medical invention might not come from a scientist or a doctor, but from a design student.

The Henry Ford Health System Innovation Institute is working with students from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and with Wayne State University engineering students.

Dr. Scott Dulchavsky, Henry Ford’s chairman of surgery, says students often see things in ways people who work in the medical profession don’t.

“They have been in our operating rooms, they have been in our emergency rooms, and patient rooms, Dulchavsky says. "Some of the products we’re working on now are in environment of care, where they actually go in, interview patients, live their lives, and then come up with scalable solutions that better them."

Some of the projects so far include a cancer-detecting bra and a miniature heart pump.

"I want people at Stanford  or MIT or Carnegie Mellon -- luminary institutes -- to go, 'Wow, look what's going on in Detroit. How come we can't do that," Dulchavsky says.

He says successful products would be put on the market.