Innovar combinando: tecnología aeronáutica para pacientes cardíacos

En la innovación es común ver que principios o creaciones ideadas para un uso o tipo de producto hace tiempo, se vuelven útiles por segunda vez al aplicarse a otros productos o usos.

Un caso de esto son los desarrollos del Profesor Abdul Barakat (profesor de la cátedra AXA de la Ecole Polytechnique), que utilizó principios de tecnología aeronáutica para mejorar el funcionamiento de uno de los dispositivos de la medicina cardiovascular más utilizados.

Un stent es un dispositivo similar a una malla de forma cilíndrica que se introduce en las venas de los pacientes con obstrucciones por acumulación de grasa. Una vez ubicada en el lugar indicado la malla se expande, utilizando un dispositivo inflable que luego es retirado, y se mantiene en esa posición asegurando el paso de la sangre que de otro modo era limitado.

El problema es que los stents tienen una tasa de fallos mayor que lo deseable, debido a que por su forma (una malla reticulada), suele generar trombosis (nuevas obstrucciones) al favorecer la formación de coágulos sanguíneos. En gran medida esto se debe a que la sangre, al pasar por la pared de la malla, genera turbulencias que inducen el aglutinamiento de las placas sanguíneas.

Lo que hizo Barakat fue aprovechar los estudios de aerodinámica (el comportamiento del aire y las turbulencias que se generan al pasar por superficies de distintas formas), para diseñar un stent en forma de espiral que minimiza las turbulencias y reduce, consecuentemente, la posibilidad de formación de coágulos.

Lo que demuestra el uso “cruzado” de tecnología que realizó este ingeniero al perfeccionar el diseño de un dispositivo médico es que la innovación se nutre casi constantemente y con éxito, de nuevos empleos de soluciones y tecnología, en nuevos contextos y para distintos usos.

Einstein decía que una característica esencial de su pensamiento era el “juego combinatorio”, es decir encontrar formas de combinar elementos preexistentes de formas novedosas para crear algo diferente.

De hecho, distintas aplicaciones de ese juego combinatorio se utilizan en el ámbito de las empresas para producir innovaciones.

Pueden ser aplicaciones tecnológicas a un ámbito nuevo, uniones de productos existentes (¿qué es un smartphone, después de todo?), de formas de producción e incluso de modelos de negocio.

Aplicar la organización de la cadena de montaje a la producción de comida puede dar por resultado un restaurant de comida rápida, ese es un ejemplo, y alquilar neumáticos (como se hace con otro tipo de bienes), en lugar de venderlos, es otro.

La combinación es una de las formas más fáciles de enfocar la innovación y obtener beneficios de ella. Puede usarse incluso para identificar ideas de negocio a partir de la unión de tendencias con necesidades del mercado.

Mientras más productos, tecnologías y modelos de negocio conozcamos, más amplia será la lista de elementos que podemos combinar y por lo tanto más extensa la cantidad de resultados posibles.

Ese es el principal valor de investigar y conocer lo que hacen otras empresas, en otros mercados y en diferentes países al tuyo.

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27 pensamientos sobre “Innovar combinando: tecnología aeronáutica para pacientes cardíacos”

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