Turning Research into Care—and Care into Research
The new building also strengthens BWH’s existing translational research tools. For example, it now houses the Brigham Innovation Hub (iHub), a resource center that helps BWH innovators turn their ideas and inventions into medical services and products that benefit patients. Established in 2013, iHub offers brainstorming sessions and healthcare business workshops, and links researchers with people from a range of fields who can help investigators to move their projects forward.
One spring morning last year, Alexander Lin, PhD, took the podium at an iHub pitch session to share his idea for a software platform to make complex brain imaging easier.
“It was different from anything I’d experienced before,” recalls Lin, director of the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at BWH. “My medical colleagues were there, along with graphic designers, businesspeople, programmers, and engineers.”
At the pitch session, Lin and four of his colleagues presented their ideas to a panel of BWH medical experts, while specialists from other fields sketched out product mockups and shared business development advice in real time.
Ultimately, iHub granted Lin’s team $20,000 to help develop his software platform and offered ongoing guidance related to marketing, regulatory requirements, patents, and entrepreneurship. Six months later, Lin’s idea blossomed into a startup company called BrainSpec.