Participants in the Spring 2018 Cohort were selected based on the clarity of their application and the
likelihood that an innovation-based curriculum could accelerate their ideas. Participants came to the first session with a prepared 90 second pitch on the problem they would like to solve. Over the course of five sessions the teams learned how to pitch, the fundamentals of innovation, how to do true customer discovery, how to develop minimally viable prototypes, the basics of intellectual property, funding options, and product launches.
Selected projects were submitted by a social worker, a medical student, medical
residents, and attending physicians from pediatric surgery and radiology. Four provisional patents were filed as a direct result of this group. Two affiliated projects have field for provisional patents, and the cohort is considering copyright filings on two mobile applications.
As a result of cohort work:
Dr. David Kispert, an internal medicine resident, has filed a provisional patent on a filter
to attach to insulin syringes used by people who inject drugs. There is currently no filter
available for use with insulin syringes, which is the primary injection method by IV drug
users. We have recently selected a design partner to accelerate our work.
Dr. Sean Novak, a radiologist, has developed an improved medical imaging software to
track pulmonary nodules over time. We have filed for software protections, and he has
advanced an impressive prototype. We are preparing to engage with large software
development firms who may be interested in co-development of this tool.
Jay Vance, a fourth year medical student in the Maine Track at Tufts University, has filed
on an aortic clamp that is designed to reduce acute kidney injury and progression to
dialysis in patients undergoing vascular surgery. He has created a prototype and has
worked with surgeons across MMC and throughout New England to obtain feedback
and design an optimal product that can be easily woven into the existing surgical
Dr. Damien Carter, a burn and trauma surgeon, has invented a method for processing
fish skin to develop a new product for temporary coverage in burn patients. We are
meeting with members of the aquaculture sector to understand how MMC clinical expertise and maritime industry expertise can catalyze the growth of a new product to help patients and be
manufactured in Maine.
Dr. Jennifer Monti, a cardiologist and director of the Innovation Cohort, has filed a
preliminary design of a new catheter that can be used to treat the neural inputs to atrial
fibrillation. This project is being further developed with bioengineering students at the
University of Maine and the UMaine Advanced Manufacturing Center.
Two mobile applications are being considered for copyright protection. Dr. Chris Turner
of the pediatric surgery division has developed a mobile application to improve surgical
education, and Dr. Verity Ramirez, an internal medicine resident, has developed a
mobile platform for dietary counseling that can be deployed in any care setting.
Two projects are focused on the development of new services that, in concert with
partners across our institution and statewide, can transform care delivery for vulnerable
populations. Meghan Hall, the adult and pediatric cystic fibrosis (CF) clinic social worker, used her
cohort experience to launch a social network for isolated CF patients across Maine and
New Hampshire. She has hosted virtual meetings of patients and has been in touch
with peers across the country as she works to develop a sustainable, flexible model to improve connectivity and outcomes for patients with CF. Her model uses low cost
technology already available, but underutilized, within MaineHealth, and is relevant to
multiple types of chronic disease.
A team of internal medicine residents, lead by Drs. Sean Lena and Katherine Rizzolo, used
their experience to map the network of services available to new Americans who need
access to appropriate care that is generally less expensive and more helpful than
traditional healthcare services. They developed an up-to-date map of immigrant health
resources across Portland and have engaged a productive collaboration in Philadelphia
to serve as a model for their work. The first product of their work is a yoga/movement
class for new Mainers that will take place at the YMCA in Portland that starts in