The Problem with Research- Anjali Mani

I am pleased to report that my team, JetSet has finished our first milestone (our first memorandum) without any tears or bloodshed. Now we are ready to move on into the research phase which proceeds our design development, which I am looking forward to. But in the meantime, JetSet has temporarily divided into Biomed and Engineering to divide and conquer the research because there is no point in us all researching and discovering the same things. Annalise and Erin will be researching potential materials, safety laws, and standards for airplane seats (and discovered that our invention will in fact be a medical invention and must meet different criteria regulated by the government at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/Overview/ClassifyYourDevice/ucm051512.htm,) while Isha and I will be looking further into Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), average heights and sizes of different passengers and possible markets considering those at risk for DVT. By splitting the research, we are able to cover more as a team quickly and share the information via gdocs. This seemed the most logical and fair way to divide up the research, with only two little problems.

The first problem is that I am not and have never been in Biomed, and have found that I am slightly out of my depth. I don’t foresee this being a lasting problem as Isha is helping me with biomedical terms that I may not be familiar with, interpreting the masses of data, shown below, and we are learning new statistics and facts about DVT. For example, in the Mayo Clinic’s page on DVT: (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/basics/risk-factors/con-20031922), there are many different factors that increase the risk of DVT, and although I know most of the terms, Isha was able to explain how preexisting heart conditions increase the risk for DVT because those with such conditions already have limited heart function that decrease circulation which is a primary cause for DVT.

Data, So Much DATA
Screenshot from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_252.pdf that contains a lot of data.

The second problem is that for this project, no one source has the information that we are looking for. In past classes we have researched to find possible solutions for introductory biology labs, different analyses of “The Canterbury Tales” and other such projects. There have always been people, professionals who have spent their entire lives researching enzyme function under different conditions and English majors who have read “The Canterbury Tales” enough to unearth every possible meaning, but to my knowledge, no one has tried to create an interactive/comfort driven/attachable under an airplane seat solution to DVT.

Because no one has done this project before us, I have discovered that I have to use different research strategies (and resources like our beautiful knowledge portal),

Screenshot of Ann Richards School Library Website. Credit to Shawn Mauser.
Screenshot of Ann Richards School Library Website. Credit to Shawn Mauser.

more time consuming strategies, which can be disheartening at times. JetSet will of course, continue to press onwards in the world of research, because even when we are ready to design, there will always be more to learn.

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