Medical device developer wins $727K grant


An external urine catheter. Courtesy Spectrum Health Innovations

The innovation arm of a local health system has received a $727,000 grant to support its efforts.

Spectrum Health Innovations, or SHI, said today it was recently awarded a grant from the City of Grand Rapids’ Smartzone Local Development Finance Authority to support the development of new health care solutions.

The grant will be used over the course of three years and is the largest one SHI has ever received.  

“A number of highly competitive proposals were submitted to the LDFA, and SHI is honored to be selected as an awardee,” said Dr. Brent Mulder, senior director, SHI. “We have a great partnership with Grand Valley State University and Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University working on new health care technologies over the past five years, and this award will serve to expand upon this already successful platform.” 

The three organizations work together on the development of medical devices to solve health care problems. The grant accelerates the collaboration and will bring together students from GVSU’s engineering program, KCAD’s industrial design program and Spectrum Health clinicians to work on real-world problems.

The ideas are based on suggestions from Spectrum’s medical staff about issues or practices that could use improvement. Each year, three of those suggestions are chosen to be addressed during the year. The grant will support works on three new ideas beginning this fall.

The products resulting from this collaboration can lead to patents, licensing, further development, entries in competitions and more.

An example of a past project is the creation of an external urinary device for women, as opposed to indwelling urinary catheters that can cause infection. That device is now in development testing stages.

“We feel very honored that we were selected as one of the awardees for this grant,” Mulder said.

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