Educating the next generation to solve complex health problems through design thinking

JeffSolves 2018

JeffSolves MedTech 2018

Four multidisciplinary teams of students from Thomas Jefferson University spent 10 months incubating 5 medical devices inspired by patients and clinicians at Jefferson Health…

And here they are!

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Soriya is one of four teams in the Thomas Jefferson University design program, JeffSolves. They are made up of five team members. One second year industrial design student from East Falls Campus, Matthew Sharayko, two second year Occupational Therapy students, Jennifer Doto and Stefani Samuels, one second year medical student from Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Vivek Bilolikar, and one fourth year medical student from Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Elizabeth Schoenberg. The team got its beginnings in February of 2018, when Elizabeth pitched at the opening night for JeffSolves. Elizabeth had been working with Dermatologist, Dr. Matthew Keller, on product ideas for patients suffering from psoriasis. Several of her soon to be team members (Jennifer, Stefani and Vivek) approached her at the opening night explaining their personal interest in her project. The team added Matthew Sharayko in the spring of 2018 and launched into their ideation process. To better understand their Psoriasis population, they conducted personal interviews, and an IRB approved survey and reached over 650 people. Soriya also has the unique advantage of having a psoriasis sufferer amongst them.

Soriya spent the summer of 2018 in an immersive accelerator program with product development company 10XBeta. The team created a low-cost applicator apparatus (patent pending) that fits on all standard Clobetasol foam canisters. Clobetasol foam is one of the first line treatments for patients with scalp psoriasis. The team also created an apparel line (patent pending), beginning with a head cap, that is compatible with topical medications used in dermatology. The apparel both allows patients to avoid getting oil stains all over their clothing, and the specially designed material actually increases the efficacy of the topical medications through the principles of occlusion therapy. Soriya’s two product system provides skin friendly solutions to help dermatologic patients heal with ease and comfort.

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Meet Episition


For the JeffSolves MedTECH 2018 Incubator, a collaboration between JeffDesign and 10XBeta, Jefferson student designers were brought together in order to research and develop novel solutions to healthcare problems. One group, comprised of Industrial Design Senior Gaige DeHaven as well as second year Medical students Nathan John, Vikram Eswar, and Tamar Wasserman, initially came together based on shared interests in order to investigate problems within the field of Neurology. From the program’s outset in February 2018, the team spent months interviewing healthcare professionals and conducting primary research on areas ripe for innovation and decided to focus upon neuraxial anesthesia, the administration of anesthetic drugs around the drugs of the central nervous system. Including Epidural and Spinal injections, neuraxial anesthesia is the gold standard in the inpatient setting for controlling the pain of pregnant patients during labor and delivery.

After an in depth investigation of the equipment and techniques used to provide neuraxial anesthesia, the team zeroed in on the problematic biomechanics involved in setting up the patient for the procedure - particularly, how the patient must initiate and maintain an unintuitive, unnatural, and challenging arch of the back in order to maximally open up intervertebral space for needle insertion. The team conducted multiple rounds of iterative prototyping with validation by pregnant patients and experts every step of the way, and is proud to introduce Epistion - the cushion that positions patients for a smooth delivery. Ergonomically designed to help the patient more intuitively fall into position, Episition provides emotional and physical support to stabilize the patient during this difficult procedure. Furthermore, this stability allows the Anesthesiologist to more easily place the needle - improving existing practice, easing the frustrations of healthcare staff, and enhancing hospital efficiency. With a patent pending on Episition’s revolutionary design, the team looks forward to improving a gold standard with a patient-centered approach.

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Gia’s interdisciplinary team comprises one industrial design student, Kelly Sullivan, one occupational therapy student, Sarah Weinblatt, and three second year medical students, Sean Haynie, Elliott Perow, and Hannah Levy.

Gia sought to improve the provider workflow and patient experience of the pelvic exam. Specifically in the Emergency Department, the waiting and transfer time for the pelvic exam decreases patient throughput resulting in lost revenue. In addition, many clinics and outpatient settings do not have sufficient supply of low cost, reliable pelvic exam positioning equipment.

Tilt is a portable pelvic exam device that allows providers to confidently and efficiently bring the pelvic exam to the bedside, while optimizing patient comfort. Tilt can be folded flat for storage and deployed to provide pelvic elevation, instrument access, and clear visualization of internal genitalia. Tilt combines the features of low cost, easy storage, portability, patient comfort and positioning, and exam efficacy. Tilt can also be implemented to position patients for cystoscopy, wound care, difficult catheterizations, and more. Gia continues to develop and market this patent pending device.

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Meet Flipcatch


Team Flipcatch is an interdisciplinary group of students brought together by JeffSolves. We are three medical students (Chris Neely, Dante Varotsis, and Helen Xu) and an industrial design student (Anthony DiFranco).

Flipcatch is a modern midstream clean-catch urine collection device. It is the result of a reimagining of the standard urine cup to improve the efficiency and user experience of collecting urine for culturing. For patients with suspected urinary tract infections, midstream clean-catch is the standard process. Although there are no standardized instructions, the patient is usually told to clean their genitals with a wipe, urinate a little bit into the toilet, and then catch a sample of urine in a plastic cup. This is intended to flush out skin cells and accompanying bacteria that can contaminate the sample and collect a sample representative of what microbes are actually present in the patient’s bladder. The process is a clumsy one, especially for women and those with dexterity issues. Commonly, the confusing process ends with dirty hands and a dirty sample. The contaminated sample fails to provide the healthcare provider with useful information about how to treat the patient. The provider can either make an educated guess or order the test again, adding hours to the patient’s wait for an answer and cost to the system.

Flipcatch turns all of this on its head by providing a simple and elegant device that automatically collects a midstream sample, thus reducing contamination. The product also integrates into existing workflow by providing the option of using a vacuum sealed tube to remove the clean sample from the device. Flipcatch can improve patients’ experience and comfort, aid clinicians in their decision making and treatment, and reduce costs and inefficiencies to hospital systems at large.

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JeffSolves MedTech 2018 Philly Pitch Night Video

JeffSolves MedTech is a collaboration between:

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