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Clinician involvement

Engineering Innovation in Health (EIH) promotes interdisciplinary collaborations between engineers and a wide range of clinicians with the goal of developing technical solutions to pressing challenges in health care.

We invite any health care professional to submit an unmet health challenge. Previous EIH projects have involved more than 100 clinicians, with diverse training and specialties, including medical doctors, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, pharmacists, and pathologists.


Submitting your unmet need

The EIH process starts with submitting an unmet health challenge and ultimately ends with a working prototype solution, which can take the form of a device, process, or application.

It takes only a few minutes to submit your initial unmet challenge via the Clinical Project Application. The applications asks you to describe the unmet health challenge, how the challenge is currently addressed, and your vision for how the project might move forward.

Selection process

In late summer (August/September), EIH invites a select group of submissions to give a reverse pitch, describing their unmet needs to our selection committee. The projects that the committee selects move forward in the first phase (October-December) that focuses on deep and holistic understanding of the unmet health challenge.

We often receive more than 50 submissions each year. Typically 10 to 15 projects are invited to participate in the autumn quarter class, and 6 to 8 projects move forward during winter and spring quarters for full development.

Time commitment

The submitting clinician (or team of clinicians) will form a team with engineering students and faculty. Autumn quarter requires roughly 1 to 3 hours per week of clinician time plus attendance at the Fall Showcase in December. If your project is selected for full development during winter and spring quarters (January–June) the time commitment will increase marginally.

There are no direct costs to the participating clinicians; however, we always welcome direct support to the program from individuals, departments, and industry.


Submit a health challenge



Prototype solution and intellectual property

If your project is selected for full development, you will receive the solution to your health challenge in the form of a working prototype (device, process, app) in June. You and your team will submit the invention to CoMotion for further consideration for a U.S. patent application. A large percentage of EIH projects have pursued patent applications.

Preliminary data and comprehensive report

You will receive a comprehensive report that covers the background of the unmet need, the existing approaches and technologies that address the challenge, the regulatory pathway, preliminary market opportunity, and background intellectual property, as well as several solution designs and their preliminary data.

Future opportunities

The solution and report provides an abundance of opportunities to move the project forward:

  • Submit a patent for the innovation.
  • Use the report information and preliminary data gathered for subsequent publications and grant applications.
  • Evaluate the innovative solution in the clinic (with appropriate IRB and FDA considerations).
  • Begin the process of spinning out a start-up company.

Sample projects

For a full list of previous projects, visit the Projects section.

H2Neo »

Neonatal mortality is a significant burden in resource-limited settings, specifically sub-Saharan Africa. At a tertiary referral hospital in Malawi, 24% of all neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit die. At more rural hospitals in the region, this rate is even higher. Neonates weighing less than 1000g at birth had the highest mortality rate at 88% and those that died commonly lost up to 40% of their birthweight due to severe dehydration from a lack of intravenous fluids. Intravenous fluid pumps are used to provide fluids to these neonates, but current solutions either have prohibitive costs or are inappropriate for use in neonates. A solution to prevent dehydration of neonates in resource-limited settings could substantially improve neonatal mortality in the regions with the greatest burden.


Improved Percutaneous Gastrostomy Tube »

Gastrostomy tubes (g-tubes) enable patients to receive adequate nutrition who otherwise could not. G-tubes that are placed through the skin percutaneously have a tendency to dislodge, necessitating an unanticipated and expensive clinical procedure. This new g-tube design can be placed percutaneously and has improved retention. The resulting g-tube design features a bell that crushes for easy insertion and then inverts to provide superior retention.

Diagram of an improved gastronomy tube


In current practice, there is no distinct and reliable way to accurately detect the lack of a pulse in a patient. There are many solutions that measure tangential metrics to the pulse, but each has its own downfalls that can lead to negative patient outcomes. Our team desires to find a way to address care teams' lack of critical hemodynamic information during in-hospital SCA while making decisions in high-stress/pressure environments that could mean life or death for patients. In order to achieve this, we decided to reconfigure an ultrasound vascular doppler pen with an audio output into a continuously monitoring doppler cuff with a visual waveform output. This will allow clinicians to have a much more accurate understanding of the heart's mechanical status.