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Battelle Collaborates With OhioHealth's Human Patient Simulation Center to Design Medical Products Faster, More Economically

Posted on Aug 12, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH., 12 August, 2010—Designing and developing medical devices is a challenging business, and as America’s health care system evolves, Battelle creators are busy innovating new products. But the hurdles of the industry get higher all the time.

That’s why Battelle turns to a hometown neighbor to get the process started easily. Just north of Battelle’s main campus in Columbus is OhioHealth’s Center for Medical Education + Innovation™ (CME+I) at Riverside Methodist Hospital. The five-year-old, state-of-the-art facility is for medical training as well as concept and new product testing and serves as the perfect spot to get prototypes into action.

Reade Harpham, Manager of the Human Centric Design group in Battelle’s Health and Life Sciences Global Business, said the Food and Drug Administration has become more stringent than ever on use error on medical devices. Harpham said while FDA strongly recommends developers like Battelle to incorporate real-world feedback into their designs, increased restrictions in hospitals makes it difficult to get early-stage designs of medical devices into actual end-use environments. That’s where the CME+I comes in. “You have to test your product with end users in their environments to mitigate problems,” Harpham said. “We’re simulating real-world user feedback from almost the inception of the idea without the worry of compromising a patient’s privacy.”

Jennifer Beard, MD, is the Director of the CME+I. “By working collaboratively with Battelle, we can seamlessly serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to be instrumental in new product development,” she said. “By taking a product from the earliest phases of design on through early ‘hands-on’ user feedback, we can help better define commercial stability. We have the ability to demonstrate, in a clinical context via our virtual hospital, the end-users’ impressions and needs before, and even after, market entry. It’s really exciting for us to be able to work with such a prestigious research innovator, like Battelle, and to have the opportunity to expand our center’s focus from one of education to one including innovation.”

The CME+I facility can simulate anything from a quiet doctor’s office to a hectic ER, allowing the prototypes Harpham’s team designs to be put through paces and yield useful data. “We can use our prototypes and models and get critical feedback very early in the development phase and it’s not on a real person,” Harpham said. “It allows us great insight early on and we don’t have to wait to get feedback from the field.”

This early insight can drastically cut down on cost and time for the development of a new medical device, making Battelle an even better option for its commercial customers. “People partner with Battelle to develop cutting-edge medical devices that are safe, effective and easy to use,” Harpham said. “Collaborating with CME+I has proven to be a critical aspect of our ability to do just that.” 

In 2007, CME+I was certified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Training Institute, one of just 10 in the United States. Top residents, physicians and other healthcare professionals from around the world train at the center to achieve the highest levels of competency.  It is believed that proficiency-based training facilities such as CME+I can help prevent as many as 100,000 deaths a year due to medical errors.

About Battelle

As the world’s largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses:  Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. 

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

About Riverside Methodist Hospital

Riverside Methodist Hospital is a member of OhioHealth, a nationally-recognized, not-for-profit charitable, healthcare organization serving and supported by the community that was named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth is a family of 18 hospitals, 23 health and surgery centers, home-health providers, medical equipment and health service suppliers throughout a 40-county area. OhioHealth hospitals in central Ohio are Riverside Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital and Dublin Methodist Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at

Media Contacts

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or


Media Contacts

Katy Delaney
Director, Media Relations
Office: 1.614.424.7208

T.R. Massey

Senior Media Specialist
Office: 1.614.424.5544