The “INSPIRING MINDS” podcast, hosted by Justin Starbird and presented by The Edison Awards delves in to experiences of innovators & pioneers that are changing the world around us.

Take notes as they share with Justin how they navigated through research, development, and in true Thomas Edison fashion, marketed and sold their new found innovations.

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Finding a niche and creating a solution that meets their demands | Episode 11

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Zsquare develops high performance, ultra-thin, single-use endoscopes for a broad range of indications. They have created a single-use endoscopic platform that completely eliminates the risk of cross-contamination which is caused by endoscopes that are reused. These endoscopes dramatically cut healthcare cost and improve diagnostics quality.

Asaf Shahmoon, Founder and CEO of Zsquare, patented miniature fibers that allow for unprecedented access for doctors, serving indications that never been available before. “I think that we have started out very ambitiously by reconsidering endoscopy in general. Once we researched the market, we knew that rather than tackle a single barrier or a single trend, we were going to disrupt the way people approach endoscopy. We mapped out basically three components in the clinical, in the healthcare, as well as the market. We set out to create a sustainable technology that would significantly shift all of these elements,” shared Asaf on the most recent episode of Inspiring Minds with Justin Starbird.

For example, meeting the demands of the global pandemic has been at the forefront of their scope of work. The Zsquare tiny endoscope, can access the Eustachian in ENT, the Fallopian tube in gynecology and go deeper down the lungs in bronchoscopy.

Asaf explained “I think that from the clinical aspect, we needed an endoscope that was from one side flexible enough but at the same time, very small in order to go inside areas that no other endoscope can go, but still provide high-resolution images. In terms of health care, we had to solve the cross-contamination problem that is actually affecting the entire environment of the multi-use. I think that specifically in these days when a pandemic is being spread around the globe, we’re witnessing the magnitude of cross-contamination. Therefore, single-use endoscope can play a vital role in avoiding this.”

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Meeting the demands of healthcare communication in an ever changing environment | Episode 10

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Vocera has always worked under the philosophy of following the customer and developing solutions centered around human-centered design techniques. Meaning that in order to design your product to be effective and to support the workflow in the business, you need to be immersed in the business and understand what happens from a workflow perspective.

As Kathy English, the Chief Marketing Officer of Vocera told Justin on this episode of Inspiring Minds, “The thing about healthcare is it’s always changing. A nurse’s day never goes smoothly or as it was intended. As the day goes on, they may have patients crashing, you have doctors coming in and wanting to talk to the nurse at any given time. You have new orders, you have new patient arrivals. It’s this dynamic environment and the only way to design a product that’s going to solve for that is to be immersed in it.”

Kathy explained how the product managers actually go onsite, follow the clinicians, and understand what happens on any given day and the way that workflow might need to change. The team at Vocera is inspiring folks each day to solve communication problems in healthcare.

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Powering Motion and leading by example during challenging times with Steve Ingel | Episode 9

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EVP of Healthcare Solutions at DJO Global, Steve Ingel, joins Justin Starbird to talk about working to continue to innovate and meet customer demands in an ever changing world.

DJO, the 7th Largest Orthopedic company in the world, is a leading global provider of medical technologies designed to get and keep people moving. The Company’s products and software solutions address patient care from injury prevention to rehabilitation after surgery, injury or from degenerative disease, enabling people to regain or maintain their natural motion.

The DJO software platform, MotionMD, recently won a Gold Edison Award for its web based, integrated solution, with Internal development teams. Steve shares how “we test new features and modules on our own business (insource/outsource), and then also pilot with direct Customers for Voice of Customer and work closely with industry leaders and Industry groups and associations. Recently we reached 3 Million Patient Agreements, have well over 2,500 locations across the US and now Canada using our software, 25k providers, and integrated with 47 EMR vendors. We did a very rapid pivot to tele-health to support Customers with unique software features, and we continue to add more features to our platform to meet evolving Customer and Industry needs.”

Listen as Steve explains how… “nobody else in the industry is as uniquely positioned as DJO to deliver on the continuum of care promise. Nevertheless, we continue to focus on the innovation gap, on solving real Customer and market needs, provide even greater value, while also leveraging our strengths. My goal is to constantly challenge my teams to widen our competitive advantage.”

Steve and DJO are a great example of how to lead and continue to innovate as the world changes all around us.

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Leading during a pandemic with Dan Harden of Whipsaw | Episode 8

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Dan Harden, CEO and Founder, Whipsaw

Dan Harden, CEO and Founder of Whipsaw joins Justin Starbird today to discuss leading a company through adversity. Dan and his team are a group of true pioneers and innovators in the product design space.

Dan shares that, “We bring that attitude to our clients, that optimistic like good old fashioned American, “let’s roll up our sleeves and solve this problem” attitude lives in those companies so strongly that it’s benefited us during this pandemic. Our clients feel that they’re really grateful to us for sticking with them and helping them through this difficult time.”

Listen as Dan talks about how his team works explaining that it’s really just about the celebration and the joy of creative problem solving.” Everything that we do stems from this belief and this purpose, that the world can be a better place. If you think openly and creatively, we live and breathe innovation. It is our way of expressing ourselves. It feels natural.

If you are not familiar with Whipsaw, they have had a lot of big hits ranging, from Google Chromecast, Nike FuelBand many products for Brita, Dell products. The list goes on and on. They’ve helped clients produce and ship well over a thousand products since Dan founded the company back in 1999.

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Industrial Technology Research Institute takes home TWO Edison Awards | Episode 7

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Dr. Lin
Dr. Lin, Research Director of Materials Research and Development, ITRI

Industrial Technology Research Institute is located in the northern part of Taiwan, Hsinchu, won two Edison Awards for 2020 for their contributions to innovation.

In the first of their two wins, ITRI took the Edison Award Gold in the Adhesives category for their product Celluad, a product developed in part by Dr. Lin, Research Director of Materials Research and Development at the company. Dr. Lin joined Justin Starbird and explained how Celluad was created using cellulose, an organic material found in plant cell walls, this adhesive is low-cost, strong, water-resistant, and environmentally friendly.

Compatible with existing manufacturing processes, Celluad provides excellent adhesion when applied to plywood, flooring, and lumber core board. Most importantly, ITRI’s adhesive is completely free of formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical found in the resin used to construct most artificial wooden boards. In this way, ITRI offers an adhesive solution that is effective and affordable as well as healthier for manufacturers, consumers, and the environment.

Dr. Chen
Dr. Chen, Director, ITRI

The second award ITRI received this year was bronze in Cellular Research for iKNOBEADS, the world’s first and only biomimetic magnetic beads capable of fighting cancer by stimulating, expanding, and strengthening T cells through imitation of the immune system. Dr. Chen also joined Justin and worked directly on their development, explains that the knobby shape which gives iKNOBEADS their name and makes them so effective was the result of a happy accident that occurred while experimenting with different bead sizes when it was found that the addition of texture to the beads increased expansion rate. Because of this, iKNOBEADS not only fight cancer but do so with an incubation period reduced by three to four days, reducing opportunities for contamination and saving money.

Listen as Dr. Lin and Dr. Chen talk through innovation, commercialization and what winning an Edison Award has meant for ITRI.

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