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UC design innovation: New hope for the hated hospital gown
Date:5/14/2009

The University of Cincinnati houses internationally and nationally ranked programs in design, business and engineering.

And faculty and students from these cutting-edge programs recently took on a project to design better hospital gowns in partnership with Hill-Rom Company, Inc., of Batesville, Ind., a maker of hospital beds and medical equipment.

The project is the result of an unusual, ongoing business-university model headquartered at UC called the Live Well Collaborative. The model works quite simply. International firms who are part of the Live Well consortium work with UC students and faculty in conducting research and developing ideas, making use of internationally ranked expertise on campus in the fields of design, engineering, business, medicine, anthropology and more.

It's an innovation incubator, and the hospital gown project coming out of that incubator will be displayed publicly for the first time in UC's sell-out June 12 fashion show.

Beyond that, Hill-Rom is now investigating the sales potential, manufacturability and marketing needs, as well as partnership possibilities, to perhaps pursue a new type of gown as a product. Such an offering would be at least a year away, according to Mike Grippo, vice president for business development and strategy with Hill-Rom.

"This would not be a project we would do entirely in-house. We would need partners because, for instance, we don't work with textiles. So, who would our partners be? These are the kinds of questions we are looking at right now," he explained.

PROJECT ORGANIZATION

This gown project drew on the resources of design, business, nursing and biomedical engineering faculty and students, including

  • Margaret Voelker-Ferrier, UC professor of fashion design

  • Craig Vogel, UC associate dean, research and innovation

  • Ann Welsh, UC professor of management

In addition, 30 students brok
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
mary-bridget.reilly@uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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