Boston Children’s Hospital Embraces Innovation

NEC member Boston Children’s Hospital recently held its Innovators’ Showcase. During the showcase, doctors and researchers displayed their creations, most of which are developed and some which are also commercialized by Boston Children’s Hospital.

The hospital funds and encourages innovations through its Innovation Acceleration Program and then helps push them through to commercialization through its Technology and Innovation Development Office. One of the devices featured at this year’s showcase was a watch-like device developed by Dr. Tobias Loddenkemper, a neurologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. In addition to tracking his steps, the device tracks his sweat levels, blood pressure, and small movements. Dr. Loddenkemper hopes it can also track and warn parents when a child has a seizure.

This is not the only example of innovation from the hospital. Boston Children’s has been a leader in using 3D printing to aid surgery. In many cases, when doctors at the hospital are facing a unique surgery, or just simply one for which they want to be better prepared, they can print out 3D models of the patient and practice. One video series on the website covers how 3D printing and an innovative spirit helped a diverse team of doctors operate on a toddler with a rare craniofacial anomaly. Another video, produced as part of the website The Verge’s Detour series, shows how doctors at Boston Children’s were able to 3D print a model of a toddler’s brain to better prepare themselves for surgery.

“3D printing in some ways has been a natural extension of what we’ve done in simulation from our very beginning. It allows us now to produce exact reproductions of a child’s anatomy that allow the surgeons at Children’s within the settings of simulation to be able to do the surgery before the surgery,” said Dr. Peter Weinstock, director of the Simulator Program, in a video on the hospital’s website.

The New England Council applauds Boston Children’s Hospital for helping to make healthcare smarter and more advanced for doctors and patients.

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