By Mary Beth Moynihan, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Market Access
At Boston Scientific, we believe that real innovation to transform lives can come from anyone and anywhere at the company. One way that we give employees a voice and a venue to share their ideas is through our internal innovation competition, ImagineIF.
Our ImagineIF Innovation challenge is a venture-style approach to fund breakthrough ideas from our employees. Through the program, we challenge employees to think through ways to advance the solutions we deliver and further improve internal processes. We are not just looking for ideas for new technologies and products, but also new approaches to enhance our customer and patient experiences.
To date, ImagineIF has resulted in 52 funded projects and more than 20 patent filings. Over the years, we’ve funded everything from a wearables devices pilot trial to a customer-facing iPad solution that provides 24/7 virtual support. The ideas we’ve received have been limitless in scope, and I’m constantly amazed by how participants help us connect the dots of innovation across our global network and challenge us all to approach ideas from a new angle.
Internal innovation competitions, like ImagineIF, are an excellent example of how companies are rethinking the traditional R&D process. A Wall Street Journal article recently shared how these types of programs can help foster new ideas while boosting employee morale. I’ve seen this to be the case as the executive sponsor of ImagineIF. Five years since the program’s creation, we continue to receive hundreds of submissions from our employees and often I’m surprised how creatively employees think outside the scope of their day-to-day responsibilities. For example, Chris Hughes, Senior Managing Counsel on our legal team, received funding for his submission to develop a digital communications tool to help patients with Boston scientific products share their stories and increase awareness for our therapies.
Another great example is Katie Aloisi, Senior Manager of Medical Education on our Urology and Pelvic Health (UroPH) team. Katie developed a streamlined solution to better manage and access healthcare provider information and manage medical education events. Her project delivered two key platforms that the medical education teams continue to innovate and enhance today.
This year we’re proud to fund seven new projects, including AI-driven algorithms to improve diagnostic processes and a machine-learning model to analyze manufacturing and testing patterns. I’m excited to see how this year’s winners turn their inspiring ideas into reality and I’m looking forward to seeing what our teams imagine next.