NYU X is both a uniquely powerful concept and a physical space. NYU X provides a forum for exploration and discussion about radical interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex “Wicked” problems. These problems offer challenges that have not been met by single researchers or disciplines – their solutions require interdisciplinary teams and often innovative, potentially radical solutions.
NYU X is a catalyst for identifying “Wicked” problems in teaching, learning and health care, and facilitating the interdisciplinary teams and approaches needed to begin to explore potential solutions. In this sense, it is a virtual space where experts can exchange thoughts and ideas to focus a broad range of interdisciplinary skills, knowledge and expertise on creating solutions to challenging problems.
NYU X also provides creative and fabrication resources, both within the lab, and in collaboration with other facilities on and off campus. “Fabrication labs are used increasingly in “maker” and “DIY” (Do It Yourself) communities to enable people to come up with technology solutions to challenges,” says Associate Professor Winslow Burleson, the first engineer to join the Rory Meyers College of Nursing faculty.
Nurses are uniquely positioned at the forefront of developing health care technology, especially in resource-poor settings. Nursing skills in evidence-based team interaction, and the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) background in the Nursing discipline provides a strong and supportive environment for NYU X.
The NYU X fab lab enables individuals to interact with interdisciplinary experts to design, develop, and prototype their ideas. For example, nurses can create prototypes for new health care equipment, and interact with computers and technology to develop more effective teaching, clinical care and public health.
One example is the “bubble CPAP” invented in Rwanda by NYU Meyers nurse Vicky Albit. This affordable, effective device was assembled for locally available low cost materials for a fraction of the cost of traditional equipment that must be shipped to remote sites, and provides lifesaving positive airway pressure to expand premature babies’ lungs. In addition to developing devices, NYU X can be a venue for developing tailored, affordable devices for parent-child teaching, similar to the simulator Associate Professor Susan Sullivan-Bolyai uses to teach parents to care for their children with diabetes. That high-tech manikin can simulate a seizure allowing parents to practice how to respond, but it costs up to $26,000, limiting its accessibility.