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University of Bradford sets challenge to 'future-proof' students


Three students at a desk with a laptop

The University of Bradford is ‘future-proofing’ its students with a pioneering ‘Dragons Den’ style assessment for the next generation of medical professionals. 

Second-year students on the Clinical Sciences programme are being tasked with researching, developing and pitching a unique medical device, with a group of professionals from across the medical industry sitting on a panel to decide whether the product could theoretically be funded. 

Assistant Professor Morgan Denyer, who set up the event, said: “We’ve introduced this module so that we are setting our students up for the changing market of healthcare - it’s becoming digital, which makes it more efficient. 

“We’re asking our students to think about this digital healthcare journey, and come up with a device that complements that, as well as researching all aspects of the process such as costings, marketing and regulatory / ethical aspects. 

“We’ve seen some excellent ideas so far and I’m confident that our students are future-proofed for an ever-changing industry.”

Introduced this year, the event saw students come up with products such as gloves to help administer effective CPR, a wearable ‘pod’ that delivers medication for patients who may have issues with remembering to take their prescription drugs and a navigation device for visually impaired people. 

The Clinical Sciences students teamed up with their Biomedical Engineering counterparts, with Dr Peter Twigg, Head of Medical Engineering at the University, and Assistant Professor Denyer keen to encourage skill-sharing between the two disciplines.

Chris Wade, Head of Marketing at Pharmacy2U, who sat on the panel of dragons, said: “This is a really useful practice for students.

“In the workplace, you’re constantly presenting and pitching ideas, having to think them through and justify your conclusion, so really useful for what they’ll be facing in the workplace.

“We’ve seen some fantastic presenters and really well thought through propositions, all in all really impressive.”

Samiya Uddin, one of the students hoping to impress the dragons said: “This has been really nerve-wracking, especially in front of real industry professionals but I think doing this kind of thing makes us, as students more well-rounded and gives us great skills to take into the real world.”