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Can Taking a "Design Thinking Approach" Help Provide Solutions to Infectious Disease Issues?

NOV 27, 2017 | KRISTI ROSA
By putting themselves in the shoes of the stakeholders, the team was able to grasp a stronger understanding of the barriers faced in the case. The use of a “funneled approach” allowed them to glimpse the bigger picture before wheedling down to the core of the idea.

“We were careful in how we defined the problem and developed a comprehensive intervention inspired by solutions that have been used to address similar problems in different populations,” Waters, a Master of Science in Public Health candidate, explained.

All students were in agreement that these case competitions are beneficial on several fronts, but arguably most importantly it provides individuals with the opportunity to apply academic theories to real-world issues.

The competition comprised 10 student teams all from different universities across the United States. The teams were pitted against each other to come up with a solution to a case, which was judged by a panel comprised of Pfizer executives.

“Case competitions provide a unique platform to apply classroom concepts for novel real-world solutions,” DeMars said in the news release. “It’s a compelling way to leverage recently acquired skills, learn from peers, and engage with industry.”

Students from the University of Southern California ranked second place and were awarded $3000, while students hailing from the University of California Berkeley placed third, winning $2000.
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