Six years ago, I applied to study Medicine so that I could “help people”. It’s the cliché everyone tells you to avoid, especially in interviews; however that was and still is my motivation and the motivation of many medical students. Now I am in my final year, I have realised over the course that I want to maximise the impact I can have on Healthcare. This sparked my interest in Medical Innovation.
Unfortunately this is not a typical component of a medical degree so I had to proactively educate myself. I started to attend events, conferences and reach out to people running innovative projects. A common theme began to emerge: there is a myriad of innovative projects but their potential impact is always limited by clinical adoption i.e. the uptake and use of end-products of these projects by doctors and patients. In retrospect this is somewhat unsurprising given that this is an area we do not consider thoroughly as part of a medical degree. This is in contrast to lab researchers who are immersed in the world of innovation with several opportunities to take their projects to the masses.
Now, as President of Innovation Forum Oxford, I hope to plug this gap. We are a global organisation that build bridges between academics, industry and entrepreneurs interested in Med Tech, Digital Health and Clean Tech. As a medical student, I hope to bring clinicians into the mix and so our first event of the year will be on “Innovation in the NHS". A cornerstone principle of innovation is bringing people together of different disciplines and given that the NHS is one of the biggest employers in the world, its potential for innovation is enormous. We at IFO hope that we can aid this process and add to the great work being done by the Oxford AHSN (AHSNs are the NHS portals for innovation).
If you are interested in Healthcare Innovation, want to meet likeminded individuals and learn about how to make it happen, please join us on the evening of 30th November at the John Radcliffe Hospital where we will be hearing from several prominent speakers before enjoying a drinks reception.
Click here to register now.
Dilraj Kalsi is a medical student at the University of Oxford, and president of the Innovation Forum