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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.

EpiSense »

Epidural blocks are placed daily in hospitals to relieve the pain of childbirth or to limit pain during surgery. Placing an epidural is typically performed in a “blinded” manner without knowing exactly how deep and at what angle the epidural needle has to be inserted into the back to gain access to the epidural space. Inaccurate needle placement can result in severe spinal headache, nerve damage, paralysis, pain or any combination of the above. By providing the angle of needle entry and axial pressure exerted on the needle during the procedure, EpiSense allows anesthesiology trainees to reliably and safely administer epidural anesthesia.


In-Home Biofeedback for Pediatric Urinary Incontinence »

Pediatric urinary incontinence (UI), involuntary emptying of the bladder, affects more than 20-million people in the U.S., and 1 in 10 children will suffer from UI. In children with persistent UI that has not responded to conservative management and other directed therapies, an alternative form of treatment that has been shown to be very effective is biofeedback, or pelvic muscle floor training via the use of electrodes to measure muscle activity and provide feedback on the contraction and relaxation of the muscles. However, because these biofeedback devices are currently limited to clinical use, the outcome from biofeedback depends on the family's ability to travel to the hospital, pay for the therapy, and motivation of both the family and the child to participate in the unmonitored home-based training. This in-home biofeedback solution offers a creative in-home, mobile-based solution to clinical biofeedback with the use of electromyography with wireless transfer to a game-based biofeedback app specialized for children.


Cardiac Arrest Monitor »

Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among people over 40. The treatment for cardiac arrest is CPR or defibrillation. The trick is to catch cardiac arrest quickly in order to treat the patient immediately, because the mortality rate for cardiac arrest victims increases by 10% for every minute that action is not taken. To monitor for cardiac arrest, EKG machines or SPO2 monitors are used, but these devices exhibit inaccuracies. This new cardiac arrest monitoring device uses ultrasound Doppler technology to monitor the carotid artery, which allows for quick and accurate recognition of cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest monitor