- IMD Business School
News Stories · Strategy

IMD’s MBAs wrap up innovation week with exciting new projects

Participants present new healthcare ideas
May 2017

IMD’s MBAs have just completed their whirlwind week of being immersed in innovation.

The week started with Professor Cyril Bouquet entering the class of 90 students into a real innovation challenge aimed at improving the life and comfort of patients in the healthcare system.
A team of students evoked the challenge with these words:
“Hospitals can be very lonely and depressing places, especially for long-term patients. Constrained to the same room, the same meals and limited selection of TV channels, long-term patients quickly find themselves fighting not only their illness but also boredom and in some cases depression.”

The 2017 MBA class did everything it could to change that.

During the week, MBAs met with experts, patients, healthcare professionals, experienced innovators and more through a series of field visits, guest talks, group exercises and numerous innovation workshops.

They spent a lot of their time at UniverCité, a sprawling complex in the Lausanne suburb of Renens entirely dedicated to incubating innovation where they prototyped their and tested their ideas to make them come alive.

The mission was highly inspirational, and students worked until very late at night most days to come up with and test ideas that could work and make a real difference to people’s lives.

On Thursday, the teams presented their innovative ideas to the coaches who participated throughout the week, representatives from the Inartis foundation, and a gathering from the wider IMD community. Among the ideas that emerged:

ImmersionCapsule: A portable recreational capsule which uses the latest 3D sound and visual technology to help patients escape the everyday routine of the hospital and transport themselves to experience environments ranging from Swiss Alps or the Amazon forest to busy coffee shops in New York.

Heal@pp: A location-based mobile application that connects current patients and their family with other patients and their loved ones who have experienced similar medical diagnoses.

LIVIT: A new Intravenous Infusion (IV) system that improves the safety, mobility and comfort of patients as they receive IVs in bed.

LooLabs: A smart toilet solution that collects and analyses bodily fluids to help healthcare providers make faster decisions on necessary changes to treatment regimens, diet, and lifestyle.

Professor Cyril Bouquet moderated the morning and said: “I am extremely proud of the great work the teams did this week. The quality of the solutions is remarkable.”

Juliette Lemaignen, coordinator of the Debiopharm Challenge for the Inartis Foundation said: “What the MBA students have achieved in a week is at par with what start-ups often manage to do in one year.”

Sebastien Gerbier, a designer who worked with the MBA team all week, referred to an old African proverb: “Alone we go faster, but together we go further.”

The week was just as valuable for the process as for the end results according to the MBAs who said:

“We started with very simple ideas. We gathered as much information as possible. We tested a few of our concepts and protoyped them. We had to be flexible. You can’t force an idea if you see quickly that it might not work. You have to be able to fail several times before you can succeed. It was an intense week. We experienced every emotion possible: frustration, helplessness, motivation. After a while with a lot of reflection, work, effort and brainstorming we conceptualized a product that we were proud of and that was viable. We didn’t invent anything new; innovation is about bringing things that exist together in a new way.”

This MBA innovation challenge was part of real ongoing contest to improve healthcare patients’ lives. The challenge is sponsored by Debiopharm, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, and Inartis. It is worth 50’000 in cash and more in kind, and will offer concrete possibilities for teams with valuable ideas to be incubated and accelerated.

The winners will be announced later in May.

Best-selling authors Alexander Osterwalder and Greg Bernarda, as well as Greg Serikoff and the rest of the Codesign-it! team in Paris, Christian Saclier, Head of Industrial Design at Nestlé, and Benoit Dubuis, President of the Inartis Foundation and many others helped make the week a great success.

Watch some highlights from the week:

Day 1
Day 2
Days 3 and 4
Swiss Radio Coverage (RTS, Tout Un Monde)

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