Approximately 120 students from across disciplines attended Wednesday night’s Idea Factory, sharing ideas on solving problems in the medical, media, sustainability, and energy fields.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Dave Scholl, the Chief Executive Officer of Diagnostic Hybrids, a company that develops and manufactures cellular and molecular diagnostic kits for a wide variety of diseases. Dr. Scholl is also an Ohio University Alumnus. Scholl gave advice to future innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Make sure that they vent their ideas properly through some type of organized process,” he said. ”I think it will make them better entrepreneurs, and more successful at hitting the market with good ideas faster.”
Scholl kicked off the medical brainstorming session. Students in attendance tossed around ideas that explored hospital layouts, hospital acquired infections, patient information and databases, and hospital efficiency.
One student suggested creating an emergency waiting room that would reduce hospital-born diseases. Another student pitched retinal scans that would show a patient’s personal information thus avoiding paperwork. Scented anti-bacterial air agents were also mentioned.
WOUB Center for Public Media Director Thomas Hodson facilitated the media section of the brainstorm. He prompted the students to find ways to integrate gaming into the declining news industry, verify the truth in 2012′s twitter landscape, and modify the 30-second television advertisements to fit expanding media platforms.
“It is good to have people from other fields come together and criticize the media,” Hodson said. “Media is not just coming from news organizations anymore, it has become a conversation.”
Students proposed a company database that crosschecks twitter account accuracy as news is breaking, tickers at the bottom of videogames that tell breaking news, and mobile games such as Angry Birds that expose more people to the news. One student event proposed a system where audiences should pay advertisers to block their advertisements.
At the end of the event, Scholl said, “Don’t be afraid to reach out to challenge. Get people in the know to challenge your idea, and get the bad news early. If you can get through that process then you’ll feel a lot more confident that your idea is a good one.”
Students tackled excessive energy consumption in a variety of innovative ways, including energy use in the home and alternative energy sources. Solar panels were a popular offering throughout the night, whether built into iPhones or wired to the roof of cars.
One group suggested a small electric motor easy attachable to every hinge in the modern house; open the door, and generate a small amount of energy to charge batteries for later use.
Across the Rotunda, several students proposed rooftop gardens as an eco-friendly way to cut down on grocery costs, imported food emissions, and insulation material. Students also pitched a variety of uses for solar panels built into iPhones, the roof of cars, and windmills.
During the large group presentation, a business major advocated for the installation of heat sensors in household rooms to detect the presence of people. The sensor would then turn off the heat or air conditioning in the empty rooms.
Teams then turned their attention to sustainability. One team proposed reusing the heavy earth metals found in iPhones and computers to cut down on social turmoil often associated with gathering the metals.
Another group advocated for eliminating corn syrup in food products as a way to cut down the nation’s reliance on the energy-intensive crop.
By Jack Carley and Morgan Etheridge
Contributing Reporter Drew Davis