Hospital 'this way' sign


If you want to have good ideas you must have many ideas.
—Linus Pauling

If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.
—Henry Ford

Both Pauling and Ford offer great insights into this most important starting point.  Identifying a compelling clinical need may seem simple and obvious, but it is not.  Get it right and you have a chance, get it wrong and all further effort is likely to be wasted.  

Needs finding is a simple and yet profound process.  All of the diagnostic and therapeutic workings of the healthcare system offer fertile ground to search for unsolved problems.  From the back of an ambulance to the OR, then ICU and the outpatient clinic, real problems abound.  The principle is to observe real people and real life situations in order to fully understand clinical procedures and techniques, as they are currently practiced.  The observer should then look for difficulties that healthcare providers or patients are encountering, and major obstacles or technical barriers that may be modified.  Look for what might be missing (Henry Ford).  The essential task is to identify the real clinical challenges and problems that impose a significant medical burden.

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