IMES aims to accelerate innovation across a spectrum of activities that span discovery, design, and delivery of new medical devices and products.

Established in July 2012, IMES serves as:

  • An integrative force across MIT, bringing together research and education efforts at the nexus of engineering, science, and clinical medicine to advance human health
  • A portal for building strategic partnerships with hospitals and industry to confront major medical challenges
  • A robust home for the Harvard-MIT Health Science & Technology (HST) program, which has a rich history of educating leaders in medicine and health-related technologies.

The existing and incipient strengths of IMES and MIT will be leveraged to address the following four grand challenges:

Grand challenge #1:

Make diagnosis cost-effective and accurate, and guide individual clinical decisions based on real-time monitoring and massive patient data sets in hospital and home environments.

Grand challenge #2:

Enable systematic design of vaccines and therapies for existing and emerging infectious and autoimmune diseases (with special emphasis on the role of the microbiome).

Grand challenge #3:

Enhance human cognitive function by developing accurate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Grand challenge #4:

Develop accurate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for cardiovascular diseases.


A crosscutting strategic challenge involves unsustainably rising healthcare costs. The cost of healthcare is growing at rates higher than the GDP in many countries, and currently constitutes 18% of the US GDP. Bending this cost curve is imperative. Medical innovation has extended and enhanced the quality of human life, yet it has not been fully leveraged to enhance value and reduce costs. IMES, in partnership with MIT, industry and hospitals, has initiated efforts in this area. IMES is confronting these clinical challenges by bringing together, and enhancing, MIT strengths in devices, imaging, computation, big data, regenerative medicine, drug delivery, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship. Partnering these strengths with those in local area hospitals/industry is expected to be transformative for advancing human health.