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This past summer, in the midst of a global pandemic, three University of Pennsylvania Hillman Scholars, Jessie Axsom (’23), Nina Juntereal (’24), and Anthony Scarpone-Lambert (’21), took on an project aimed at sharpening their innovative skills and creating something to benefit the greater healthcare community. Scholars first completed an online five-module Design Thinking for Health course, then applied the framework to a project of their choosing that relates to the particular health challenge and community that is the focus of their dissertation research. The final project deliverable was for each student to create a brief case study presentation detailing their experience.

  • While going through the five steps of Design Thinking for Health, Jessie Axsom recognized that her fellow bench scientists would express frustration towards learning new protocols. To alleviate this problem, she was able to create a hand-off checklist for protocols which can be used in her lab. Jessie detailed the process through which she developed the checklist with a fantastic infographic (check out the Infographic).
  • Nina Juntereal realized that many expecting parents have questions about lactation and breastfeeding and need information. Her solution was to develop an infographic that provides evidence-based information on breastfeeding to support human milk feeding for infants, guidance to expecting parents on breastfeeding and lactation, as well as research-based information on breastfeeding and lactation. Nina created an engaging storytelling video of her experience with using Design Thinking to develop the infographic (watch the video now).
  • The challenge identified by Anthony Scarpone-Lambert was that sleep is difficult for many patients in hospitals, which is problematic because sleep is a necessity for healing. He too created a storytelling video in which he discussed how the newly-learned framework helped him with his startup, Lumify Care, and the development of Lumify Care’s first product, Lumo, which is a wearable LED light meant for nurses who work the night shift and do not want to wake their patients by turning on the light in their hospital rooms (watch the video now).

All three scholars tied their projects to a book chapter from Academic Entrepreneurship for Medical and Health Scientists and presented their excellent work to their fellow Scholars in the Hillman Scholars Proseminar. -John F. Seman, Penn Program Coordinator, HSNI

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