Input from diverse clinicians, researchers and users is what makes Orby so effective. David isn’t competitive or secretive about his research. He’s not clutching his dollars and ideas to himself.
Biomedical engineering is, by its very nature, a collaborative speciality. The origin story sounds like the start of a joke: one day, a doctor sat down to lunch with a mechanical engineer. The doctor talked about the problems they had with people breaking and fracturing their hips, and the mechanical engineer replied, “That’s just a structural issue.” From that conversation, the hip implant was born. It’s a mechanical problem with a mechanical solution, but you’re dealing with the body and our bodies are very good at rejecting foreign materials. As such, you must contend with biomaterials and different coating surfaces to encourage integration.
A biomedical engineer combines physiology, anatomy and health sciences with engineering, science and technology, where the application is always in a medical device or health area. The technology is created to help people. It’s not about the feats of engineering; it’s about the application. It’s about clever problem solving and innovation that has an important, direct outcome for people.
To succeed as a biomedical engineer, you need to be a master of problem-solving and have a mind for curiosity, empathy, risk-taking, and the technical. You need to be the person who sees opportunities.
Flinders University excels in this area championing the Medical Device Partnering Program, which focuses on collaboration between engineers, clinicians and industry. The director, Professor Karen Reynolds, has seen countless projects fall apart because the researchers can’t bring people together. David never had that problem. If David had taken the attitude of “Orby is mine,” he wouldn’t have gone to Susan at UniSA, Lyndsey Collins-Praino at the University of Adelaide, or Ray at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and said, “Let’s work together.”
Learn more about the team who came together to create Orby.