Sunday, July 12, 2009

CIMIT Demonstrates New Tech

The Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology (CIMIT) showcased several novel medical device innovative technologies at the Army’s Advance Medical Technology Exposition held in June.

CIMIT is a clinically based consortium of Boston area hospitals and engineering schools working with multidisciplinary teams to develop medical devices and clinical technology system applications. The goal is to solve medical problems by developing innovative technologies. CIMIT exhibited their new technologies at the USAMRMC and TATRC 2009 technology exposition.

A group of researchers Fred Chen, Henry Wu, Pei-Lan Hsu, Brad Stronger, and Hongshen Ma from MIT and Robert Sheridan, M.D., from Shriner’s Hospital-Children and MGH, demonstrated a wireless adhesive-electrode-free autonomous ECG acquisition system. The team realizes that for trauma patients, time is critical, but so is continuous monitoring, but the problem is that it takes valuable time to attach the diagnostic equipment and to make sure that it works.

The research team created a silastic sensor to monitor ECG and the sensor is placed on a stretcher to automatically scan the patient using off-the-shelf materials. By using the sensor, the research team is able to acquire ECG signals for different body orientations which can be essential when cardiac monitoring is needed for trauma patients in a hospital or in a disaster setting.

In addition, the system called the “SmartPad” can be used to monitor trauma casualties during medical evacuations and important to use in austere settings where using more cumbersome ECG machines may not be practical. Forward Surgical Teams and combat support hospitals would find the system ideal for continuous monitoring.

Lino Becerra, PhD, Edward George, M.D., PhD, and Gary Brenner Borsook M.D, PhD, at MGH, studied how patients that are aware and in pain during anesthesia or sedation can experience problems afterwards such as PTSD. The research solution was to develop technology to detect brain cortical activity associated with pain and consciousness by using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). NIRS demonstrated at the meeting is non-invasive and provides real-time evaluation of pain and consciousness. It can be potentially used to mitigate the incidence of surgical-related PTSD as well as monitor pain with soldiers that are unable to communicate.