EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – As part of their 2021 Nurse Innovator (NI) Accelerator program, the MCA Innovation Center hosted a Demo Day featuring products developed by nurses and other healthcare professionals across the region to improve their work environment, patient safety, and experience.

Healthcare professionals pitched their business ideas and prototypes to a panel of regional experts from a variety of backgrounds.

“It’s incredible how the program pushes you to change your mind frame and come up with a better idea. We all have one goal and that’s to help patients have a better experience,” states Arnold Chavira, RN and program participant.

Potential products, such as a seizure monitoring device, DIY STEM Kits focused on science and engineering, a self-management tool for healthcare professionals, redesigned surgical forceps, a disinfecting hand dryer, and public health nursing courses with integrated informatics were presented at the 2021 Demo Day.

The first cohort of “nurses” included nine individual and team innovators from across the United States, but mostly from the El Paso and Ciudad Juarez region who developed 6 product ideas during the program. 

“As COVID-19 demonstrated to us, rapid and constant innovation is necessary to combat disease, improve quality of life and generally to advance healthcare…Nurses and frontline healthcare workers are in the trenches and know what the ‘pain points’ are in healthcare necessitating innovative solutions. We believe that through programs like the Nurse Innovator Accelerator, we can impact healthcare profoundly and quickly – improving the lives of patients and providers across the globe.”

Medical Center of the Americas Foundation President Emma W. Schwartz

MCA officials share that the Nurse Innovator Accelerator is a binational program that “empowers participants to take their innovative ideas from concept to prototype to production.”

Participants go through an 18-week program that connects nurses with local makers and teaches them how to test an idea, how to build a prototype, how to develop a business model and value proposition, and how to deliver the product in the right way to the right market.

“The MCA Innovation Center is working to change the landscape of MedTech innovation in the region by providing a wide range of services to help innovators, startups and established companies grow their ideas and businesses, stated Nancy Lowery, Senior Director of Innovation. Innovation is an important driving force in regional economic development and has the potential to improve health outcomes for our population.”

Applications for the second cohort open January 31, 2022, with training and services beginning in Spring 2022.  The program is free for health care professionals.

For more information, click here.

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