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2010 Create the Future Design Contest Medical Category Winner

(Winner of an HP Workstation)

IDEA Enhanced Pulse Oximetry

Rodrigo Teixeira, Alton Reich, and Stephen Malin
Huntsville, AL

Stroke volume, or how much volume of blood the heart pumps with each beat, demonstrates the organ’s efficiency and health, but the performance is often measured invasively using a Swan-Ganz catheter or ultrasound echocardiography. IDEA Enhanced Pulse Oximetry technology, however, measures light absorption by blood as it pulses. By analyzing the light pulses’ shape and evolutions, the technology gathers information about the patient’s cardiovascular system, including stroke volume and cardiac output. The Intelligent Data Extraction Algorithm, or IDEATM, analyzes noisy pulse signals and interprets them in a real-time physiological context.

altThe enhanced pulse oximeter tracks the patient’s hemodynamic evolution throughout the entire process of anaesthesia, surgery, and recovery, warning against possible adverse reactions or “silent hemorrhages” that do not show up in standard monitoring equipment. In the neonatal ward, the technology can monitor babies born with congenital heart disease or poor blood flow. At home, it can be used to monitor patients with chronic heart conditions and warn doctors about developing acute problems such as arrhythmias and heart attacks. In the battlefield and disaster areas, the device improves the speed and accuracy of triage to assist injured soldiers and victims.

The device will potentially expand the amount of vital information available at the patient care area and provide an alternative to risky, invasive procedures. IDEATM will be sold as a software library that can be used to enhance existing hardware.

“My ultimate goal is to build something like a ‘Star Trek’ medical tricorder: a device that is smart enough to figure out what you had for breakfast or detect a protein deficiency by waving a multi- sensor array near a person. I think there is a growing belief in the biomedical engineering community that we can do much better when interpreting data from medical instruments. This prize gives us a nod.” – Rodrigo Teixeira, Inventor

For more information, visit www.techbriefs.com/ctf_oximetry. Contact the inventor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Click here to view the Safety & Security Category Winner.

Honorable Mentions

Robotic Surgical Device
Alejandro Ramos de la Peña Garza García,

Nuevo León, México

altAn anthropomorphic robotic device — which includes a trunk, a miniature camera, and two arms with 7° of freedom — can perform thoracic or abdominal minimally invasive surgery. The robotic surgical device (RSD) simulates a surgeon’s upper limb movements, and the RSD hand can be modified to allow diverse instruments. Using a complex system of cables and pulleys, the servomotor’s movement is transmitted with low friction to the joints. The RSD’s extremities are put together on a parallel position in front of the trunk, pointing directly to a potential access point via lumen. Other alternative application sectors include military and police bomb squads, biohazard and radioactive material manipulation, and automobile line assembly.

For more information, visit www.techbriefs.com/ctf_surgical.

Medipacs Mini Infuser
Mark Banister (Team entry)

Tucson, AZ

altThe Mini Infuser™ is a miniature, disposable, programmable drug delivery device designed to lower the cost of patient care and improve a patient’s lifestyle with increased pharmacological safety, patient mobility, and fewer needle sticks. The device’s electric motor and mechanical pump components have all been eliminated and replaced with a Smart Polymer Actuator that responds to changes in pH. The actuator is controlled by a programmable electrical current that allows it to expand up to 500% of its original volume, in order to accurately meter out a liquid medicine, including insulin.

For more information, visit www.techbriefs.com/ctf_infuser.