Posts tagged with "life-saving"

Toilet Seat Detects Congestive Heart Failure

Toilet seat that detects congestive heart failure getting ready to begin commercialization

Researchers developed the seats to measure biometrics during ‘natural’ processes

With 1 million new cases of congestive heart failure diagnosed each year, a revolutionary product is making it easier for hospitals to monitor patients with the condition in the comfort of their own homes.

A toilet-seat based cardiovascular monitoring system created by a team of Rochester Institute of Technology researchers, aims to lower the hospital readmission rates of patients with congestive heart failure. The toilet seats, which will be brought through the FDA clearance process by the researchers’ company Heart Health Intelligence, would be purchased by hospitals and issued to heart failure patients after discharge. The toilet seats are equipped to measure the electrical and mechanical activity of the heart, and can monitor heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation levels, and the patient’s weight and stroke volume, which is the amount of blood pumped out of the heart at every beat. Algorithms analyze the data, and with further development, will alert advanced practice providers of a deteriorating condition. A report will be passed along to cardiologists who will then determine if intervention is necessary.

Nicholas Conn, a postdoctoral fellow at RIT and founder and CEO of Heart Health Intelligence, is part of the university team that developed the toilet seats.

“Typically, within 30 days of hospital discharge, 25 percent of patients with congestive heart failure are readmitted,” said Conn. “After 90 days of hospital discharge, 45 percent of patients are readmitted. And the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is penalizing hospitals for readmitting patients for heart failure.”

Conn, the company’s chief executive officer, further explains that using the national average for readmission rates, the penalty alone for readmitting 150 patients is approximately $500,000 annually. The total cost of providing 150 patients with their own monitored toilet seats from HHI is $200,000. With that investment, he says, hospital systems will save more than double their initial investment within one year.

According to Conn, who earned three degrees from RIT—a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 2011 and 2013, respectively, and a doctoral degree in microsystems engineering in 2016—the system will pick up deteriorating conditions before the patients even realize they are symptomatic. And with the rapid data analysis, interventions can be as simple as a drug change or short office visit, instead of an admission to the hospital.

HHI, which joined RIT’s Venture Creations business incubator earlier this year, is now focused on moving the product forward. The team is heavily involved in writing grants for additional funding and networking, and human-subject testing and pre-clinical studies are well underway. Conn and his team are working on approving the product with the FDA and rolling it out across the country.

To read more about the research behind the project, go to here.

For more information, contact Vienna McGrain at 585-475-4952 or Vienna.Carvalho@rit.edu.

About Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology is home to leading creators, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers. Founded in 1829, RIT enrolls about 19,000 students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, making it among the largest private universities in the U.S.

The university is internationally recognized and ranked for academic leadership in business, computing, engineering, imaging science, liberal arts, sustainability, and fine and applied arts. RIT also offers unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. Global partnerships include campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo. To follow RIT on social media, go to www.rit.edu/socialmedia.

2019 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees

Nineteen innovation pioneers were announced on January 8th as the 2019 Class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame®(NIHF) on the main stage at CES®.

These innovators, whose inventions range from the UNIX operating system to fluoride toothpaste, will be celebrated as the newest Class of Inductees during the NIHF Induction Ceremony. In partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), NIHF will honor these Inductees in Washington, D.C. on May 1-2 at one of the innovation industry’s most highly anticipated events — “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation.”

“I am honored to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” said 2019 Inductee Bill Warner, pioneer of digital nonlinear editing for video. “I love how inventions can change the world for the better, and I am thrilled to join this year’s Class.”

THE CLASS OF 2019

• Chieko Asakawa: Web Browser for the Blind and Visually Impaired 

Chieko Asakawa invented the Home Page Reader (HPR), the first practical voice browser to provide effective Internet access for blind and visually impaired computer users. Designed to enable users to surf the internet and navigate web pages through a computer’s numeric keypad instead of a mouse, HPR debuted in 1997; by 2003, it was widely used around the world.

• Jeff Kodosky and James Truchard: Virtual Instrumentation – LabVIEW™

Kodosky and Truchard introduced LabVIEW in 1986 as a graphical programming language that enables user-defined testing and measurement and control systems. It grew to be used by engineers, scientists, academics and students around the world.

• Rebecca Richards-Kortum: Medical Devices for Low-Resource Settings

Rebecca Richards-Kortum develops low-cost, high-performance medical technologies for people in places where traditional medical equipment is not an option. She’s led the development of optical technologies to improve early detection of cervical, oral and esophageal cancer; and tools to improve newborn survival in Africa, including the Pumani CPAP system for newborns with breathing problems; BiliSpec for measuring bilirubin levels to detect jaundice; and DoseRight, for accurate dosing of children’s liquid medication.

• Dennis Ritchie (Posthumous) and Ken Thompson: UNIX Operating System 

Thompson and Ritchie’s creation of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language were pivotal developments in the progress of computer science. Today, 50 years after its beginnings, UNIX and UNIX-like systems continue to run machinery from supercomputers to smartphones. The UNIX operating system remains the basis of much of the world’s computing infrastructure, and C language — written to simplify the development of UNIX — is one of the most widely used languages today.

• Edmund O. Schweitzer III: Digital Protective Relay

Schweitzer brought the first microprocessor-based digital protective relay to market, revolutionizing the performance of electric power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment, and making a major impact in the electric power utility industry. Schweitzer’s more precise, more reliable digital relay was one-eighth the size, one-tenth the weight and one-third the price of previous mechanical relays.

• David Walt: Microwell Arrays

Walt created microwell arrays that could analyze thousands of genes simultaneously, revolutionizing the field of genetic analysis. His technology accelerated the understanding of numerous human diseases and is now being used in diagnosis. It has also made DNA sequencing more affordable and accessible.

• William J. Warner: Digital Nonlinear Editing System

Bill Warner invented the Avid Media Composer — a digital nonlinear editing system for film and video. Warner’s technology revolutionized film and video post-production by providing editors with faster, more intuitive and more creative techniques than were possible with traditional analog linear methods.

• John Baer, Karl H. Beyer Jr., Frederick Novello and James Sprague: Thiazide Diuretics/Chlorothiazide (Posthumous)

Beyer, Sprague, Baer and Novello were part of the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories team that pioneered thiazide diuretics, the first class of drugs to safely and effectively treat hypertension. Today, thiazide diuretics remain a first-line treatment for high blood pressure and related heart problems.

• S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker: Portable Hand-Held Electric Drill (Posthumous)

Virtually all of today’s electric drills descend from the original portable hand-held drill developed by Black and Decker, whose invention spurred the growth of the modern power tool industry. By 1920, Black & Decker surpassed $1 million in annual sales and soon had offices in eight U.S. cities and a factory in Canada. Today, the company is known as Stanley Black & Decker.

• Andrew Higgins: LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel); Higgins Boats (Posthumous)

Higgins, a New Orleans-based boat builder and inventor, developed and manufactured landing craft critical to the success of the U.S. military during World War II. The best known was the Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP), or Higgins Boat, used to land American troops on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

• Joseph Lee: Bread Machines (Posthumous)
The son of slaves, Boston-area entrepreneur Joseph Lee was a pioneer in the automation of bread and bread-crumb making during the late 1800s. The self-educated inventor was a successful hotel and restaurant owner who created his machines to allow for greater efficiency in his kitchens, and by 1900 his devices were used by many of America’s leading hotels and were a fixture in hundreds of the country’s leading catering establishments.

 Joseph Muhler and William Nebergall: Stannous Fluoride Toothpaste (Posthumous)

Dentist and biochemist Muhler and inorganic chemist Nebergall developed a cavity-preventing product using stannous fluoride. In 1956, Crest®toothpaste was introduced nationally. Four years later, it became the first toothpaste to be recognized by the American Dental Association as an effective decay-preventing agent.

For full biographies of each Inductee, visit invent.org/honor/inductees/.

THE CELEBRATION

The Class of 2019 will be honored at “The Greatest Celebration of American Innovation,” a two-day event held in our nation’s capital. Danica McKellar — star of the TV show “The Wonder Years,” Hallmark Channel regular, mathematician and author — will serve as master of ceremonies.

• May 1 – Illumination Ceremony at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum at the USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, where new Inductees will place illuminated hexagons displaying their names in the Gallery of Icons.

• May 2 – The 47th Annual National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., where the new Inductee class will be honored for their contributions to society during an evening including a black-tie dinner, ceremony and after party. To learn more about the event, visit invent.org/honor/inductees/induction-ceremony/.

“The National Inventors Hall of Fame honors the innovation game-changers who have transformed our world,” said NIHF CEO Michael Oister. “Through inventions as diverse as life-saving medicines and web browsers for the visually impaired, these superhero innovators have made significant advances in our daily lives and well-being.”

LIFE-SAVING TECH × JAGUAR

Audible Vehicle Alert System Developed by Jaguar to Protect Road Users

Jaguar has developed an Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) for the I-PACE, to warn vulnerable road users as the electric vehicle approaches

With no engine sound, the electric Jaguar I-PACE required a new way to warn blind, visually impaired and other vulnerable road users   of its approach at low speed.

Jaguar has designed a unique Audible Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) for its first electric vehicle – developing a sound that can be heard at speeds up to 20km/h and exceeds the 56dB(A) minimum required by forthcoming European legislation for all new electric vehicles (EVs) from July 2019.

The I-PACE’s sound was tested by members of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the UK’s leading charity for people affected by sight loss, as part of the testing undertaken by Jaguar. It also marks the start of an on-going relationship between the two organisations.

Jaguar’s engineers worked for four years to develop a soundtrack that is audible yet discreet and cannot be heard from inside the vehicle. Initial attempts to create a noise inspired by the sound of sci-fi spacecraft had to be shelved after pedestrians reacted by looking up to the sky, rather than at the road, as the vehicle approached.

Engineers tested sounds in a number of environments, including an anechoic chamber (specialist echo-free room) and various urban scenarios, before settling on the final sound for the I-PACE. It is emitted from a speaker located behind the front grille, can be heard in every direction and cannot be disengaged.

The alert increases in pitch and volume in line with the speed of the vehicle and, when in reverse, is accompanied by an additional tone that indicates the change in direction. AVAS is not required at higher speeds as there is sufficient wind and tyre noise for pedestrians to hear the zero-emissions vehicle approaching.

Iain Suffield, Jaguar NVH Technical Specialist, said:

“The absence of traditional engine noise from electric vehicles creates a problem for vulnerable pedestrians, such as the blind or visually impaired. This is especially true at low speeds in town centres and car parks. We developed the Audible Vehicle Alert System for the I-PACE to ensure the safety of all road users. Our potentially life-saving technology cannot be switched off and as the leading charity for people with sight loss, we are pleased to have the support of Guide Dogs to ensure real people are at the heart of our product testing.”

YouTube: https://youtu.be/13JwfssNI3I