Clinical Innovation Fellowships: Improving Healthcare in Egypt through Entrepreneurshiplink
In the current climate and with the unprecedented difficulties facing healthcare systems across the globe, clinical innovation can be a savior. To achieve true clinical innovation, we need to first adopt a proper identification process for what the healthcare system needs on the ground, so we can develop user-centric, holistic solutions that meet the demands of stakeholders and create value in the long run. This was the goal of the clinical immersion experience during this year’s Clinical Innovation Fellowship program, taking place for the first time in Egypt.
Following a bootcamp in August 2020, the eight participants of the Clinical Innovation Fellowships with backgrounds in medicine, business, engineering, and design, were immersed for six weeks in the Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE 57357), one of the world’s largest, most diverse and dynamic facilities for treating pediatric cancer. It fosters a global vision of cancer-free childhood and is established and still growing with the support of donations from all around the world!
For the Clinical Innovation Fellowships, the immersion phase is a fundamental cornerstone in which the aspiring healthcare entrepreneurs experience day-to-day fieldwork to observe, interact, research, and find tangible clinical needs. In the course of the immersion phase at CCHE and with the patients in focus, the eight fellows took part in the whole clinical cycle as two multidisciplinary teams. Through simulation activities, each team shadowed the healthcare professionals in different aspects; from assessing system integrations to product designs, while observing the patient experience.
The objective of this deep immersion experience was to find and document 400 needs to be validated, shortlisted, and classified in the next phases of the program, upon which they can build business model prototypes. The whole experience was designed with consideration to the current crisis to ensure the safety of participants and healthcare professionals.
The Clinical Innovation Fellowships was initially launched ten years ago in Sweden. For many of the fellows over these years, the program has been a kick-start to create start-ups in the medical technology field. It is an eight-month innovation scholarship that enables its participants to work in transdisciplinary teams following the Stanford Biodesign methodology. The program is implemented with the support of and in collaboration with Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and EIT Health. In 2020, we partnered up with RISE to hold the Clinical Innovation Fellowships in Egypt and arrange the immersion phase at the CCHE 57357.
So how was the Clinical Immersion experience really like?
“It’s interesting because we discussed each need in different ways; like we see it through the product design eyes, the technical eyes, the medical eyes, and also through the business eyes … It was not just an [operational]rollercoaster, what we were doing day-to-day but it was also an emotional rollercoaster; one moment we talk to a patient crying about their treatment, the second moment we talk to another patient who is happy and laughing, then we talk to doctors who’re anxious about their work; So we got to experience it all” – Dina Al-Desouky, Dermatologist, Clinical Innovation Fellow
“We used to shadow some roles of the healthcare professionals to see how they’re doing their jobs with a main focus on how they deal with the software systems here at CCHE, and how the systems integrate and interoperate together … We also saw how painful the treatment process is for the child patients, and also painful for the doctors to see the children suffering on their journey of treatment. I’m looking forward to making a change, making a difference – something that can make someone’s life easier someday” – Amr Youssef, Software Developer, Clinical Innovation Fellow
“There’s nothing typical, each day is different from the other. One day, we observe the production of the chemotherapies at the IV mixing rooms. On the other day, we observe the patients receiving these therapies at the daycare while understanding what they’re going through. It’s a diverse experience and I learn a lot from it” – Dr. Amir Emad, Medical Entrepreneur, Clinical Innovation Fellow
You can also learn more about 57357 and donate directly through https://give.57357.org/