When Bobby Grajewski joined Edison Nation Medical (ENM) as president two years ago, he arrived with a strong desire to improve patient care. He wanted to revolutionize the antiquated way that the healthcare industry has historically approached research and innovation. He envisioned a platform that provided any individual a way to voice their ideas and suggestions on how care could be improved. ENM does just that.
Inventors, medical practitioners, caregivers and patients alike can provide their insights on ways to advance care delivery in the hospital and home environment via ENM’s secure online forum. The ideas that meet ENM’s criteria benefit from the company’s in-house development and prototyping capabilities to make these technologies “market ready.”
The company has already secured deep partnerships with leading healthcare systems (The Greater New York Hospital Association, Mount Sinai Health System, and Carolinas Healthcare System), retailers like Rite Aid Corp and universities. Now, ENM aims to become the largest healthcare open innovation platform, says Grajewski.
We sat down with Grajewski, to learn more about the ENM and the challenges to innovation in hospitals today.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen through ENM in recent years?
The biggest change I have seen through the years has been the tremendous shift in the focus of healthcare delivery from the traditional acute care in a hospital environment to the home environment. This shift has happened much faster than ever expected. The patient has ultimately benefited from improved, more economic care delivery in an environment that is more convenient, comfortable and safer. ENM has also benefited from the shift, seeing an outpouring of new products, inventions and companies that have been created to satisfy this new industry shift.
Are there any particular inventions or ideas that have come through that you’d like to (and are able to) share with us?
One product that ENM has helped develop from concept to market-ready product that I am very excited about is the GuadianOR. Invented by a former medical device representative who realized that operating room and emergency rooms inadvertently lose billions of dollars of equipment per year due to unintentional disposal, the GuardianOR is an innovative point of loss, metal detection system that provides both audible and visual alerts to medical personnel at the point of loss when surgical instruments have passed through the unit. In an industry where cost reduction is now front and center, the GuardianOR mitigates this multibillion dollar-per-year cost thus saving healthcare systems tremendous amounts of money.
In your opinion, what areas of healthcare need the most improvement?
The healthcare industry today is incredibly inefficient in both collaboration and care delivery. Far too often there is tremendous amounts of waste due to a lack of coordination, communication and accountability. This is both due to structural inefficiencies, from regulatory and clinical burdens, as well as systemic industry issues related to the economics of care and the large bureaucracies in which healthcare systems operate. Though this is beginning to change due to the Affordable Care Act and development of new technologies that enable greater efficiency, there is still much improvement that needs to be made in a very short period of time to ensure our healthcare industry’s survival.
What types of issues or challenges are Edison Nation Medical facing?
ENM is operating in a time of great upheaval and change in the healthcare industry. Although this is exciting and creates much opportunity, it also creates risk, as it is still not fully clear how both political and regulatory changes will affect healthcare long term. Ultimately, this uncertainty affects ENM in deciding which inventions and ideas it will invest in and promote, both for licensing to our partners and through our own internal incubation efforts. As the dust settles and healthcare stabilizes, ENM will have hopefully made the right investment decisions and pursued the appropriate opportunities. I feel that we have an incredible system and team in place at Edison Nation Medical already, which makes me very confident for the future.
What’s stopping innovation at the hospital level? How can you overcome these hurdles?
As mentioned previously, healthcare today is incredibly inefficient in both collaboration and care delivery. For far too long, healthcare systems were wedded to the traditional healthcare economic model of pay-for-production and did not have a desire or need to adopt practices or methodologies that improved their efficiencies. Now with the Affordable Care Act and shift to population healthcare delivery, the healthcare system’s own economic model has been completely reversed, and it is now rushing to find the people, systems, and technology that can enable it to adjust to the new status quo. These growing pains are temporary, and once these hospitals have “caught up” by adopting services provided by companies like ENM, you will see far more innovation in this industry.
Nicole Yang is an editorial intern at MedTech Boston. She is currently a rising senior at Amherst College, where she studies Neuroscience. During the academic year, Nicole is the Managing Editor of The Amherst Student and has also worked as a Chemistry laboratory teaching assistant. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys playing squash and practicing yoga. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Yang12.
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