mic.brussels’ interns contribute to an exciting future of Digital Sedation™ at Oncomfort

As part of mic.brussels’ ‘Prototyping internship program’, various IT companies welcomed ambitious students who were eager to learn while being coached by MIC. One of the participating companies was Oncomfort, market leader in the world of Digital Sedation. They tasked their interns with building an ambitious POC.

Based in Waver, Oncomfort was founded by Diane Jooris in 2017. Their main goal is providing drug-free Digital Sedation to reduce patients’ anxiety and pain . They were chosen as start-up of 2020 by digital Wallonia, but in time they want to become an international player in the world of Digital Sedation. “In January 2021, we launched a second series of products,” says analysis and development engineer at Oncomfort, Clémence Toussaint. “The Sedakit X is a brand new tool to deliver Digital Sedation™ to reduce pain and anxiety in patients before, during and after medical procedures Digital Sedation™ is a revolutionary therapy that combines clinical hypnotherapy with integrative therapeutic techniques using virtual reality.”

Selection and competence

Clémence functions as the coordinator of the interns. “I am the bridge between Oncomfort, the interns and mic.brussels. I work intensively with the interns on the future and development of Oncomfort. We explained the subject of the internship project to mic.brussels, so they could search for suitable students,” Clémence explains. “We were looking for students with an industrial computer background for our projects. This year, we have also an intern who specializes in management information systems. But the most decisive factor is the motivation of the students, as well as their desire to learn and discover new things.”

After mic.brussels selected the students, Oncomfort arranged a meeting with Clémence to see if the interns matched with the company culture. During this meeting, Clémence explained the functioning and working philosophy of Oncomfort. “Thus far, we are very pleased with the interns mic.brussels sent us. The students bring new visions and insights, which is a great thing,” states Clémence.

Proof of concept

“We cannot say much about the project because we are dealing with confidential information. However, we can state that last year’s internship was a high-level project,” says Clémence. “We only had an idea, so the interns had to collaborate on further specifications for the concept. Last year, our goal was to see whether the concept was feasible and if IT integration was possible; and if so, which type of architecture was best suited.”

“This year, we are working on a second proof of concept. In collaboration with the interns, we look for ways to develop a prototype that could further evolves to a medical device which can be marketed.” mic.brussels specialises in new technology and IT. “The students incorporate all these technologies into the project they are working on in a practical manner. In addition, the employees of Oncomfort use their clinical and industrial knowledge to make improvements on the proof of concept.”

Weekly schedule

The interns improve their skills both by working at Oncomfort and by the coaching of mic.brussels. “At the start of the internship project I divided the group project into small tasks, which means that each intern could work individually, while collaboration remains crucial in such a project,” Clémence adds. “Every Thursday I ask them to take stock of what they achieved during the week, after which they can ask the mic.brussels coaches some questions. The students come to the office in Waver once a week and the rest of the time they work from home. We stay in touch with them via Microsoft Teams.”

Expertise and guidance

“The main advantage of the internship is that we can mix the expertise of mic.brussels with our own experience and the freshness of the students,” according to Clémence. “mic.brussels’  technical knowledge is very important as we don’t have many in-house developers. Moreover, thanks to the internships, Oncomfort gains more visibility among students and schools. We would therefore definitely like to participate in a third edition of the internships in the future if possible!”

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