When was your last ‘Aha’ moment? Mine came when I was introduced to Wallace Coulter. Wallace had the ability to see things the way they are and imagine the way they could be. Coulter’s innovations cast a larger than life shadow. Though he passed away several years ago, he remains a giant in biomedical engineering. For a man who never earned a college degree, his inventions still make a difference in others’ lives.
Wallace invented the Coulter Counter – the world’s first automated blood cell counter. His passion for biomedical engineering research and development led to a successful global company. The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation was created to honor his legacy for biomedical engineering.
The Coulter Foundation and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) created the ‘BMES Coulter College Program’ to encourage future generations of biomedical engineers. This month, the fourth meeting was held in Coral Gable, Florida. Teams from 19 university biomedical engineering programs including Mercer University (Macon, Georgia) participated in this year’s event.
When Dr. Sinjae Hyun asked me to be the clinical advisor with the Mercer University team, I gladly accepted. The meeting included lectures, team building, mentoring, and consultation with experts in innovation. The Mercer team of six senior biomedical students was energized with the rigors of the competition. The weekend culminated in a ‘Shark Tank’ presentation of each team’s innovation. The Mercer team did a great job.
Now for that ‘Aha’ moment – I went to the BMES Coulter College program as the clinical consultant for the Mercer team and left with much more. This crash course on innovation and entrepreneurship opened my eyes to health care needs in my practice and encouraged me to meet these needs through innovation.
With 18 years of providing ‘comprehensive vein care’ for spider veins, varicose veins, and leg swelling at Vein Specialists of the South, I have ideas to make the experience better for both the patient and physician. Sorry, but I have to wait until you are approved as a patient before I share my ideas. Armed with knowledge from the Coulter College Meeting, I am encouraged to see my ideas become reality. For that, Wallace would be proud. See you on Shark Tank!