Meet the company:
Abilitech is a woman-owned business pioneering biotechnology for the medical device industry. Their company has experienced great momentum in the last year since their first product made it to market: The Abilitech® Assist is a support device developed to help those with arm weakness or injury complete essential daily activities, and it was developed in part thanks to the work of interns.
With the success they found hosting internships and lots of new product development in the works, Abilitech hired two students this past summer to assist with their new prototypes.
“At first, the idea of hiring interns felt like a risk,” admitted Eli Krumholz, Abilitech’s Director of Software development. “But across the board, I’m always amazed and shocked by how quickly they get going. Interns have become an invaluable and instrumental part of our team.”
Meet the interns:
Emily Chu is studying biomedical technology at the University of Minnesota. When she started her internship search, she knew she wanted to work in prosthetics. Abilitech was the perfect fit, giving Chu the opportunity to work directly with Abilitech’s new prototype. During her internship she did some design, fabrication and testing for the new device.
“This is my first internship,” Chu said. “On my first day I worked on a patient test where we had to check for pinch points with the device. It forced us to think critically about the device and how all the parts work together. It was really interesting. I never imagined I’d learn this much and be this trusted.”
Huy Huynh is a mechanical engineering major at the University of St. Thomas. He and Chu had similar tasks, working together to optimize the prototype, but they each had their unique takeaway from the experience.
One thing that stood out to Huynh was how much he learned about human anatomy and, when designing a medical device that will be worn by patients, just how important it is that the device works with their anatomy and not against it.
“We learned how to make a working product and how to figure out the best method to do that. Here, I’m allowed to do so much. I can free my mind and run with my ideas, which is a wonderful thing,” Huynh said proudly.
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