Stevens Students Develop Mobile App to Drive Medical Device Sales

1/9/2014

Stevens is capitalizing on the explosive growth of mobile phone use through the development of timely, entrepreneurial apps, including a novel iOS application for another surging industry – medical devices.

A Stevens-developed app feeds sales representatives for medical device companies instant pricing comparisons and options on the fly, an invaluable tool for sales reps in the field. The Strategic Pricing Aid (SPA) app took top honors in a recent Case Competition conducted by the Cordis Corporation, a medical device subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

"Sales reps typically use lots and lots of Excel documents to keep track of internal product pricing, and this information updates frequently," says Vania Nettleford '15, a computer science major from Passaic, New Jersey who teamed with biomedical engineering majors Ruchika Sharma '14 and Jen Trinh '13 to create the app. "We're talking about thousands of lines. We decided to host all that data in the cloud; then we created an app which pulled from that data anytime an update was made."

The app also incorporated more sophisticated business tools, such as the ability to pull up relevant contacts on the fly and enter client-specific notes during sales calls.

The trio's pitch impressed the judges, securing a $2,000 first prize.

"I was personally blown away by the application developed by the Stevens students, as well as their presentation to management," said Cordis Senior Analyst Lisa Danwalder, who coordinated the competition. "They demonstrated tremendous understanding of our devices and our business. And their presentation was extremely polished and well done."

While the app is not available to the public, Cordis may roll out an internal version based on the student team's idea in the very near future.

"What I really enjoyed about this process," concludes Nettleford, who originally considered studies in pediatrics before matriculating at Stevens to study programming, "was the opportunity to work on a project in the real world rather than just modeling a scenario. This is something that will actually be used by industry.

"Since my career goal is to make apps for the healthcare industry, this was an invaluable project experience.”