Planting the Seeds of Innovation: ProMedica Innovations Inaugural Conference

You may not be aware of it yet, but northwest Ohio is fertile ground for those working in the medical technology field. Experts in our region are collaborating to improve the patient experience through the power of technology. And ProMedica is leading the way with research and development of medically based apps, devices and processes.

For the past 18 months, John Pigott, MD, FACS, director of ProMedica Innovations and vascular surgeon at Jobst Vascular Institute, has been working with his team, and utilizing a new partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Innovation Alliance, to implement a process for the commercialization of original ideas from ProMedica physicians and employees. With more than 60 submitted proposals, ProMedica Innovations is currently aiding seven projects at different stages in the commercialization process.

“We are cultivating a culture of innovation,” Dr. Pigott says. “Where people, when they used to see a problem, now see an issue that can be solved through technology. Simply, it’s about creative problem-solving.”

Dr. Benson Applies Creativity To Patients’ Needs

Aaron G. Benson, MD, an otolaryngologist and neurotologist with ProMedica Physicians Ear, Nose and Throat, is one of ProMedica Innovations’ most prolific contributors, seeking collaboration on ideas for two noise-based applications. NoiseMonitor helps patients access the volume levels in their every day environments, encouraging them to identify the situations in which they may need to wear ear protection. NoiseLock takes this concept a little further by allowing a parent or person to protect their ears from excess sound for a certain amount of time. Both apps are guided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regulations.

“We all expose ourselves to far more noise than we appreciate,” explains Dr. Benson. “Just like after a pitcher pitches a game and we try to ice their shoulder and take care of what is considered a valuable asset for them, our hearing is similar. Sometimes we take for granted how valuable it is and how we are damaging it throughout the course of the day.”

Read more about Dr. Benson’s noise applications and involvement with ProMedica Innovations.

Technology in Toledo

San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York City, Boston, Cleveland, and Toledo. What do these places have in common? According to Dr. Pigott, each of these cities is or will be known for its advancements in medical technology. Toledo’s success story continues at this month’s ProMedica Innovations Conference: Spreading the Seeds of Innovation on Thursday, May 1.

The event features a variety of experts from applicable backgrounds, including capital venture firms, presidents of medical technology businesses, world leaders in the pre-clinical testing of devices, and ProMedica doctors and employees who have already seen success with their innovative medical ideas. Doctors Pigott and Benson will both be featured.

“If you really have a passion for medical technology and improving patient care, we will make a great case for how you could and should do it here in Toledo,” says Dr. Pigott, a Toledo native.

Throughout the day, attendees will hear from panelists discussing the unique challenges and opportunities for professionals in the local medical technology field. Along with speakers, the conference will also include a wide range of exhibitors who specialize in medical technology. There will even be a segment on how to build a solid business from a simple idea.

Dr. Pigott states that Toledo is a prime location for medical experts seeking expert advice and possible investments.

“Our state has been very generous in helping fund companies,” Dr. Pigott says. “And ProMedica Innovations can assist individuals through this process, talk to them about developing a protocol for their idea, and assist them financially through our Product Development Fund.”

Planting the Seeds of Innovation, presented by ProMedica Innovations is scheduled for Thursday, May 1 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Please join the conversation on Twitter by using #PiConf2014.