Avik Som, MD, PhD
Integrated IR/DR Radiology Resident
Disclosure(s): Boston Scientific: Consultant (); CareSignal Health: Ownership Interest ()
Dania Daye, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School
Device development has the potential to directly impact patient care and has been a strong motivation for physicians to pursue interventional radiology (IR). However, device development can be an opaque process with large capital costs, lack of access to physical resources, and timing challenges. Herein, we share our experience in the development of a resident-led device development group in association with several specialties, an institutional incubator, and an IR simulation program.
Materials and Methods: Recruitment of individuals was conducted through the IR residency, the medical school, and an IR interest group. IACUC protocol was developed with faculty supervision in collaboration with the surgery department at our institution. Herein we report the process by which meetings were conducted, collaboration with multiple specialties and our institutional incubator, and key performance indicators
Monthly hybrid online/in-person meetings were held starting July 2020 in 1-hour blocks. A weekly average of 10-15 faculty, residents, post-docs, and medical students met in a multidisciplinary (surgery, IR, urology, and anesthesia) device development group. To maintain efficient meetings, the first 30 minutes of each meeting was spent assessing milestones from existing projects and the balance to new clinical ideas and group brainstorming. Individual device teams held ad-hoc meetings separately on a weekly. To address capital requirements, our group utilized existing shared physical resources including a shared lab space (MESH Incubator) to reduce capital costs. This space includes shared resources such as 3D printers, microprocessors, circuitry, multiple IR simulators and a selection of IR procedure kits. We leveraged existing animal experiments with surgical colleagues to limit animal expenses, as well as existing simulation infrastructure. Thus far, efforts have resulted in 5 invention disclosures, with 5 conversions to provisional patent filings and over 50 prototype iterations.
The synergy between device innovation and simulation proves a productive and tangible process whereby IR can inspire trainees while providing foundational skills and positively impacting patient care. This group leverages existing resources to address traditional development challenges and a framework that can be applied to other academic institutions.