Last month our members gathered for a few drinks at Arbor Brewing Company to kick-start our Innovation Underground series for the year. There were delicious food and drinks, prizes raffled, and even an impromptu pitch for funding—just what Innovation Underground is all about!

The weather was wild and woolly, but the group didn’t let it dampen their spirits (pun intended). The room was filled with lively conversation between diverse groups: old members and new, those just starting out their careers and tenured professors, and engineers and clinicians. Innovation Underground brought together this diverse group of people because of what they have in common: a passion for critical care.

The night took an unexpected turn when a group accosted one of our members returning from the restroom. Intrigued by our Innovation Underground signage, they wanted to know more. “They” turned out to be a group of undergraduate students from Central Michigan University, getting together for their monthly innovation club.

As fate would have it, two of the students were working on an innovative critical care solution, which they were able to pitch to MCIRCC’s own Executive Director, Kevin Ward, MD.

Their device, DosAid, would make it easier to crush and administer pill medications to patients who have a feeding tube in place, rather than having to manually crush pills.

Impressed by their enthusiasm and innovative idea, Dr. Ward offered to put them in contact with program managers at MTRAC for a chance at having their idea funded.

The night was a great reminder of why we host Innovation Underground, and what collaboration opportunities can arise when you bring together such a diverse group of people. We’ll be hosting more Innovation Underground events throughout the year, so keep an eye out for the next invitation. We’ll see you there!