2023 Summer Intern Report: Rithika Kormath Anand


University of Virginia, BS in Biomedical Engineering (BME) (’22) and ME in BME (’23)

Foundation Awareness Presentation Redesign, Focused Ultrasound Landscape Analysis in India

Project #1: Foundation Awareness Presentation Redesign 

Project Overview 
The first project of my internship involved crafting a presentation, in collaboration with the Savannah College of Arts and Design, aimed at engaging investors, clinicians, and researchers. This presentation serves as a conduit for funding, patient advocacy, technological understanding, and the Foundation’s influence.  

Project Outcome  
A high-impact presentation is important for a high-impact organization to communicate its mission, advocate for patients, educate people, and more.  

 Project #2: Focused Ultrasound Landscape Analysis in India 

Project Overview 
My second project enabled me to actively contribute to the facilitation of research and the widespread adoption of focused ultrasound technology in India. This project involved fostering funding mechanisms, enhancing knowledge accessibility, increasing access to resources, and forging connections with industry, researchers, and clinicians.

Project Outcomes 
The focused ultrasound landscape in India has great potential, is fast-growing, and can change the lives of millions of individuals with the advancement of the technology locally. 

Why were you initially interested in working with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation? 
During my upbringing, I was witness to the profound debilitation my grandfather faced following his diagnosis with a condition resulting in tremors. Focused ultrasound technology would have been a life-changing technology had it existed in our city in India at the time, yet I only recently learned about it. In the fourth year of college, my engineering capstone team – collaborating with the Foundation and the esteemed Gamma Knife center at the University of Virginia – embarked on a project that involved the development of an innovative headframe tailored specifically for neurosurgical focused ultrasound applications. This experience not only taught me about focused ultrasound technology, but also imparted insight into the Foundation’s overarching vision of reshaping healthcare. Upon graduation, I returned to the Foundation to contribute toward making focused ultrasound more accessible globally to help people like my grandfather.  

Describe your experience as an intern. 
Working at the Foundation has been empowering and enlightening. I walk in every day excited to learn and walk out having felt like I’ve contributed toward making people’s lives better. I have worked on projects beyond my purely engineering and clinical experience, learning about marketing, global health, medical device financing, business development, and more. I am appreciative of the dynamic and collaborative work environment filled with individuals of many backgrounds, and I am constantly learning something new or with profound depth every day at the Foundation. I am also particularly appreciative wearing different hats with the projects I have been working on, expanding my knowledge and skill set beyond any single project or role. 

How will your accomplishments impact the field of focused ultrasound? 
A high-impact presentation matching a high-impact organization will improve the education, advocacy, and outreach of the Foundation to continue its mission. By supporting the advancement of focused ultrasound in India, we will help revolutionize healthcare in a country of 1.5 billion people who could all live better having access to life-changing technology. 

Has your internship affected your career plans? If so, how? 
In the future, I hope to be a part of reshaping medicine and healthcare for the better. I pursued biomedical engineering and pre-med to create innovative medical and healthcare solutions while being a part of the clinical community. This internship has significantly impacted my career plans by providing me with a multifaceted perspective on the intersection of medicine, engineering, and business. It has given me a tangible glimpse into how these domains can collaborate to drive meaningful advancements in healthcare. Additionally, my time at the Foundation has deepened my commitment to an innovative and patient-centered approach to healthcare. I am now more motivated than ever to contribute to the development of technologies and solutions that can enhance patient outcomes and the overall healthcare experience. As I move forward in my academic and professional journey, I aspire to continue working at this intersection, leveraging my skills and experiences to positively reshape the landscape of medicine and healthcare for the better. 

What is one tip that you would give 2024 summer interns? 
Be an athlete. Athletes are characterized by their determination, a commitment to giving their best, and a great work ethic. They take calculated risks and view failure as an opportunity for growth. Prioritize building a solid foundation within yourself and your work, while prioritizing continuous learning and practice. Athletes excel not only as leaders but also as valuable team members, contributing to a strong and empowering team culture. These qualities, among others, drive athletes to perform their best, just as what drives us to perform our best. This is especially important when working toward improving the lives of people around the world.