Clinical Innovation Fellowships Egypt 2021: Hands-on Immersion at Al Nas Hospital
In a collaboration with the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), and EIT Health, enpact has brought the Clinical Innovation Fellowships program to Egypt in 2020, where eight fellows graduated last March and are currently on their way to establishing their own med-tech startup. This program usually takes place as an eight-month innovation scholarship, where its participants work in a multidisciplinary team following the Stanford Biodesign methodology.
At the heart of the program lies the clinical immersion experience, through which the fellows conduct fieldwork research alongside healthcare professionals to identify tangible needs and pave the way for real innovation to happen, for patient-centric solutions to develop, and for meeting more challenges along the way.
This year, four participants with backgrounds in Medicine, Business, Engineering, and Product Design were selected to join and get their six-week clinical immersion experience at Al Nas Hospital – one of Egypt and Africa’s most renowned medical centers specializing in Pediatric Cardiology. Their goal was to identify and document 200 needs to be afterward validated, classified, and shortlisted in the subsequent phases of the program. Hence, the fellows can conceptualize needs-based business models and develop prototypes – the program’s ultimate goal.
Before getting started, the fellows were introduced to the Stanford Biodesign methodology, which is the core of the Clinical Innovation Fellowships’ concept. An intensive bootcamp was hosted at Startup Haus Cairo and delivered in a hybrid mode in collaboration with experts in Sweden and Egypt. During the bootcamp, the fellows received insights on conceptual thinking, global health, and social innovation through online expert sessions and seminars, besides experiencing various team-building activities on the ground to prepare for what’s ahead.
On June 13th, the fellows started their clinical immersion at Al Nas hospital. “Being part of a transdisciplinary team taught me that even the smallest observations can lead to bigger changes when assessed from different perspectives. What I’m looking forward to is contributing to the medical industry through solving patient-centric needs,” says Nada Mamdoh, Clinical Innovation Fellow, Product Design background.
Diverse team in a dynamic setting
Located in a densely populated area in the north of Cairo, Al Nas hospital is established on a 30,000 meters square site. At the moment, it houses around 600 beds, 140 intensive care units, and ten operation rooms. This capacity is considered a remarkable achievement for this charitable organization that aims to eliminate the wait time for heart surgeries while serving patients for free.
“Although Al Nas Hospital has been operating only since 2019, it houses a dynamic, integrated clinical setting that we find as a perfect fit for the program. Their strict preventive measures for COVID -19, as well as their collaborative team spirit, provided the fellows with a nurturing environment to explore, learn and gain informative insights that helped them identify tangible needs,” says Shaimaa Emam, the CIF Program Manager at enpact.
Initially launched ten years ago, the Clinical Innovation Fellowships program has been a starting point for many of its participants to establish startups in the medical technology field. In 2020, we brought it to Egypt by collaborating with RISE and EIT Health for the first time. Today, the 2020 alumni are taking solid steps forward towards building their startup to introduce their first solution to the digital healthcare ecosystem. And for the 2021 fellows, we’re looking ahead to seeing them hitting their own track!
For now, take a sneak-peak into the clinical immersion experience at Al Nas Hospital through the eyes of the fellows and the medical professionals they’re collaborating with.