BACKGROUND: The act of introducing a new product, idea, or technique falls within the broad definition of innovation. Innovation is the foundation of the surgical profession, reinventing equipment, research, and technology to enhance patient care. The technique can also be employed on orphan pathologies with no obvious remedies, even though most new therapies are directed towards issues with a sizable patient population. We describe a case of tracheal agenesis, a rare congenital defect with a high mortality and few effective treatments, that benefited from the innovation process and survived without using a ventilator at age three.
METHODS: The parameters of the clinical problem were identified, previous solutions and existing technologies were analyzed, newly invented solutions were brainstormed, value analysis of the potential solutions was carried out Using crowd wisdom and the chosen solution was prototyped and tested using 3D modeling, iterative testing on 3D prints of actual-sized patient parts, and a crowdsourcing platform.
CONCLUSION: Our team was given the direction and necessary steps by the innovation process to create an innovative device for the successful management of an infant survivor with Floyd Type I tracheal agenesis.