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Entrepreneurial Approach to Innovation in Pediatric Devices

Jonathan Ortmans, President, Public Forum Institute

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation announced on July 21st that it is partnering with the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health in awarding a grant to create a Pediatric Medical Device Innovation fellowship team at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The fellowship team is comprised of two fellows, an engineer and a surgical resident, who will explore innovative ways to bring pediatric medical devices to market. The two fellows will conduct an assessment of pediatric clinical needs at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. Once the team has identified the most pressing needs, it will develop medical technologies to address them, using prototyping studios and other facilities on the Stanford University campus.

The Stanford Biodesign Program's community of mentors, who have a long track record of training medical device innovators and entrepreneurs, will mentor the Fellows throughout the innovation process. In commercializing these technologies, the team will also collaborate with the Institute for Pediatric Innovation (IPI), a nonprofit collaborative founded in 2006 with seed money from the Kauffman Foundation. IPI works to translate the needs for new pediatric products into viable commercial opportunities.

"One of the biggest challenges of pediatric health care is that much of the equipment and technology that was originally developed for adults simply does not fit children," said David Alexander, president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif.  The partnership will implement an entrepreneurial approach to overcome traditional challenges in bringing pediatric medical devices to market.

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