Outcomes Rather than Outputs: Collaborative Closed-Loop Design and Commercialization
Geoffrey Roy Fernie.
This paper outlines the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute Technology Team’s vision for translational research.
The objective of the Technology Team is to help people age successfully by providing tools to manage the disabilities that
come with aging. To facilitate this translational research and realizing real world benefits, the Technology Team has
developed a collaborative closed-loop design process. We describe the five strategies that make up our approach. The
strategies are: 1) Having a collaborative team of clinicians, technical experts, researchers and students; 2) Maintaining
prototyping facilities on-site; 3) Using simulators to quickly, safely, and repeatably test ideas with the target population;
4) Building relationships with stakeholders; 5) Careful documentation in preparation of regulatory approvals. Together
these strategies have helped our team focus on translating research findings into practical outcomes as the ultimate goal of
our research. These outcomes include changes to policy and clinical practice as well as the creation of new products, in
addition to the traditional focus of academic research groups on outputs such as publications and grants.
Keywords: Commercialization, design, innovation, research and development, testing.
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