Innovation at Mayo Clinic: Transforming Healthcare Through Biomedical Devices and AI

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Zara Nwosu
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Innovation at Mayo Clinic: Transforming Healthcare Through Biomedical Devices and AI

Transforming Healthcare through Innovation at Mayo Clinic

In an era of rapid technological advancement, the Mayo Clinic is at the forefront of healthcare innovation, with residents and biomedical trainees focused on creating new biomedical devices to transform healthcare. These groundbreaking initiatives range from simplifying the detection of pneumonia to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in organizing patients' X-rays and other imaging tests. The Mayo Clinic's commitment to fostering a culture of innovation is evident in the support provided to these inventors, helping them bring their ideas to market.

Revolutionizing Disease Detection and Treatment

Dr. Ramez Barsoom, a resident in internal medicine, has conceptualized a novel medical device to simplify the detection of pneumonia in patients' lungs. With the support of Mayo Clinic Innovation Exchange, Barsoom's idea won a cash prize at a competition hosted by the Office of Entrepreneurship. Similarly, Francis Shue, a Ph.D. student at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is exploring the use of AI to organize patients' X-rays and other imaging tests, with the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship supporting her efforts to develop this product.

3D Anatomic Modeling Laboratories and Patient-specific Care

The Mayo Clinic employs 3D anatomic modeling laboratories to custom build patient-specific 3D models. These models, based on CT or MRI scans, aid in diagnoses, surgical planning, and patient education. They have been instrumental in improving surgical outcomes, particularly in minimally invasive surgeries, by reducing recovery time and eliminating surprises during surgery. The Mayo Clinic's leadership in the use of 3D printed models is unquestionable, as evidenced by their extensive studies in the field of head and neck cancer and 3D printing.

AI and Healthcare: Mayo Clinic's Care and AI Lab

The Mayo Clinic's commitment to leveraging AI to enhance patient care and responsiveness is embodied in its Care and AI Lab. The clinic is actively recruiting new faculty members for its AI strategy and is seeking a data scientist specializing in generative AI. The potential role of AI assurance laboratories to test healthcare technology and assess its impact on health equity is also under consideration. With over 679 million dollars in extramural research awards in 2022, the Mayo Clinic is the largest not-for-profit multidisciplinary academic medical center globally.

On-site 3D Printing and Expedited Innovation

The on-site 3D printing capability at the Mayo Clinic has expedited the development of medical solutions for patients. This ability to directly interface with surgeons, physicians, and patients provides a superior service. The clinic has overseen procedures involving babies born with critical organs outside of their bodies, complete facial reconstructions following severe gunshot wounds, and the manipulation of bony and soft tissues to create a more feminine appearance of the face. The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center also utilizes on-site 3D printing, promoting collaboration between radiologists, biomedical engineers, and doctors.

Additive Manufacturing in Healthcare

Additive manufacturing (AM) is advancing rapidly in the development of new materials, integration of AI, and the range of printable materials. In healthcare, AM's most common and beneficial applications include patient-specific pre-surgical anatomic models, surgical guides, medical device prototyping, fabrication, and patient-matched devices. However, the widespread use of AM in medicine faces challenges such as cost, labor, and the need for competent professionals well versed in working with AM in the healthcare sector.