Published: 25-03-2015 17:14 | Updated: 14-04-2015 09:54

CfGM & CTMH: An innovative collaboration to deliver better healthcare in Sweden

 Clinical Innovation Fellowship

The KI Centre for Gender Medicine looks at a new partnership with the Clinical Innovation Fellowships (CTMH), a collaboration centre that asks excellent professionals to look at medical needs and solve hospital problems.

by Riccardo Guidi

Today, hospitals face still difficult problems that we are not sure how to solve. These go from classical hospital-spread infections, management challenges, and drugs getting mixed up between patients, to mention few.

Though hospitals are the source of the problem, they don’t necessarily have to be the source of the solution. Often, great ideas comes to hand by unexpected, outsourced, helpers.

It is following this philosophy, that the Center for Engineering in Medicine and Health (CTMH) decided to help hospitals and patients in Stockholm. The CTMH is an interdisciplinary consortium between Karolinska Institutet (KI), The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Stockholm County Council (Stockholms läns landsting - SLL) born to strengthen the Stockholm’s medical and technological platform.

Innovation and interdisciplinary teamwork

As great ideas always come from interdisciplinary teamwork, CTMH wants to connect enthusiasts between KI and KTH to create an ‘R&D hub’ that would develop new medical devices, tailored on patients and hospital needs. Since 2010, the CTMH rewards “strong and energetic” scientists and other professionals who bring their ideas outside academia to contaminate the industry of medical devices.

According to CTMH, the medical device industry has an annual sales of over SEK 60 billion, and for the past 15 years it has been one of the world's most profitable industries. But to keep sustaining this flourishing sector, and to meet the upcoming health challenges, both industry and healthcare providers need more people with transnational competencies. We think about medical doctors, engineers and managers that knows how to integrate their business with other experts to create value. And the Clinical Innovation Fellowship brings these people into the game.

Video from CTMH website”

Fellows - special individuals

The Fellowship rewards “self-motivated, knowledgeable and creative” individuals with a keen interest for clinical innovations. The Fellows, beside receiving one year of salary, will expand participants network by meeting with some of the most influential figures in the field of clinical innovation in Stockholm; they will consolidate their knowledge and practical experience on clinical innovation; and improve their ability to develop new solutions for clinical needs.

It is worth noticing that Fellow of the program share their times - good and bad - on an online diary, to inspire people and to show that stakeholders money are well invested.

The Clinical Innovation Fellowship was inspired by the Biodesign Innovation Fellowship at Stanford University, where Fellows can “spend a year learning the ins and outs of medtech innovation - from exploring needs in a hospital setting to selecting just the right one to work on”.

The Fellowship team up the young professionals in groups that will follow one particular hospital setting. This year Fellow were assigned to an the Hematology, Cardiology and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Team.

Video: Former Fellow from Stanford University tells what it was about the Biodesign fellowship.

Clinnical Innovation and the CfGM

Today, the Centre for Gender Medicine (CfGM) applauses the achievements of CTMH, and it is ready to get involved into its innovation hub. The exchange of ideas between industry and academia is not a new concept at CfGM; which ultimate goal is to both raise awareness about sex and gender bias in medical research, and to accelerate medical innovation.

Thank to this philosophy, the CfGM has already created the Gendered Reaction website - where drug side effects can be browsed by the sex of the patient - and the inspirational conference Nov2k - the most important cross-disciplinary symposium at Karolinska Institutet.

The Clinical Innovation Fellowship is the first of its kind in Sweden, with the goal to identify and train future leaders for the medical sector. We believe CTMH could significantly contribute to the development of medicine and of Stockholm international profile, and we hope that embracing a “gender-perspective” during this mission will help the cause.