CMU students partner with Spectrum to tackle medical device issues

A medical group out of Grand Rapids is working to improve a device that has historically been associated with complications.

Courtesy of CMICH News

Courtesy of CMICH News

Instead of searching out medical students, they asked for help from CMU’s schools of Entrepreneurship and Engineering.

Spectrum Health Innovations, out of Grand Rapids, came up with an idea for a new design for nasogastric tubes.

The tubes are commonly used to deliver food and medicine to patients. If the tube is inserted wrong and into the patient’s lungs, it can result in death.


Robbie Robertson is the faculty member from the College of Business, working with the students.

“They gain a huge, huge experience. One it brings different groups from across the university together. So their getting that experience, the entrepreneurship students are getting experience of not only working within the College of Business, but also with the engineers. So it’s more real world” says Robertson.

When asked why Robertson thinks Central was choosen to work with Spectrum, she says “Central’s the best! We’ve been working with Spectrum for a few semesters. They don’t have the money to put forward to develop these projects, and so one way they decided to it is use different universities. So hopefully through all of this research, they’ll find a project that will actually move forward.”

CMU’s engineering students have been working on the new tube design. Entrepreneurship students are developing a business plan for the device.

The students are expected to debut their work at the 2016 CMU New Venture Competition in April.