Ann Dine

Collaboration is a key driver of health care progress. In the medical technology community, innovators often work with doctors, nurses and other health care providers to identify challenges in the health care system and deliver innovations to solve them.

As a product manager at an innovative medtech company, Ann Dine is quite familiar with health care’s collaborative process. During a month-long stint as a patient in a post-operative setting, her role in the process became much more personal.

After undergoing surgery to treat cancer, Ann contracted a surgical site infection. As a result, she endured five more surgeries in six weeks. Her experience made her wonder: is there a way to improve the procedure by which doctors and nurses change surgical site dressings and help prevent infection?

Surgical site dressing change procedures follow documented and well-researched protocols, but those protocols are complex, involving numerous steps and tools. Traditional dressing change kits include all the tools doctors and nurses need, but the tools are stacked top to bottom without explicit numbering or instruction. As doctors and nurses use each tool, the tools can shift out of order or even out of the sterile field, causing confusion and potential for error.

Equipped with this information, Ann set out to design a more organized, more convenient surgical kit. With the help of her team of medtech innovators, Ann created a kit that organizes surgical site dressing change tools in individual clear pockets from left to right according to a protocol. The kit also includes visual step-by-step instructions that doctors and nurses can follow in real time. Today, Ann’s invention is used by hospitals around the world.

“My diagnosis was not the end of my story,” said Ann. “It was the beginning.”

Listen to Ann talk about her personal medical journey and her pursuit of life changing innovation: