At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, as in all hospitals, patients who lie in bed for hours sometimes develop painful skin sores.
To prevent these wounds, nurses must check and move patients every few hours. But Dr. Hanmin Lee wonders if a device would do a better job of predicting and alerting staff to nascent bedsores.
"That's an area ripe for disruption," said the hospital's surgeon in chief, stealing one of Silicon Valley's favorite lines.
On Wednesday, UCSF will open the Rosenman Institute, a program intended to give Lee and other faculty members the resources to turn their ideas for medical devices into real products.
As a renowned scientific-research university and medical center, UCSF has long teamed with pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs and diagnostics. But even as the institution has ramped up its commercial partnerships, it has not paid as much attention to medical devices, an industry that has spawned life-saving inventions such as pacemakers, artificial joints, replacement heart valves and surgical robots.