How would you describe your project to your friends and colleagues? How would you describe it to a future employer?
When speaking to friends and colleagues I would describe our project as the making of a device intended to eliminate the use of a stethoscope in the conventional blood pressure measurement protocol. However, when speaking of our project to a future employer I would go into a lot more details. For instance, I would mention that we are working on a non-electronic device that will eliminate the need to identify Korotkoff sounds in traditional blood pressure measurements. Often times Korotkoff sounds are difficult to identify by medical personnel in the developing nation due to lack of adequate training. One way to get around this dilemma is to introduce a device that converts the audio signal into a visual one. By employing the principles of sound pressure in a vacuum we have been able to do just that.
What specific skills and knowledge did you learn from senior biodesign?
Perhaps the most valuable skill that was learnt in this class was the ability to effectively work in a group based environment. Although group projects have been assigned in the past, I must say that this one in particular really seemed to emphasize the real world importance of group work. The ability to be able to follow out a well-defined time line as well as many requests from other group members gave me a lot of insight on what real world projects would be like.
How can you apply what you discovered and learned to other areas of your life?
By learning a great ordeal on project management, I believe that I can use these skills in practically every area of my life. For one, the ability to meet deadlines in a timely manner is something that will be sought a lot in my professional career. Another important skill learnt that is beneficial to every area of my life is being able to successfully communicating with people from many different disciplines.
What was your favorite aspect of your project?
My favorite aspect of the project was actually seeing the building and testing of the prototype. To learn that the initial device wasn’t working was indeed disappointing however it just meant we had to go back to the drawing board to see of other cheap alternatives to get another prototype made.
What problems or challenges did you encounter? Did the challenges cause you to discover something new about your field of study?
One of the biggest problems we encountered was that the original device did not work. We went back to the drawing board many times only to find out again that the device wasn’t working. Finally, after many attempts we managed to get a working device. Every step along the way I learned so many new things in my field of study, in particular with sound and its potential in biomedical applications. Learning this made me consider whether or not to do a thesis about sounds in the body.
What would you do or change about your project if you could start over again?
If we could start all over again I would probably be sure to have a solid theoretical design with a lot more math and modeling prior to actually executing the design. Otherwise, I believe that our project was successful.
What would you like to learn further about your project if you had the time to continue to work on it?
If we were given extra time I would’ve liked to delved more into the sound phenomena of our device. Also, I would have loved to speak to physicians to get their input on a device like this and possible ways to incorporate more features that they would love to see. This would’ve made our target audience much wider.