Archive for Medicine

EchoMark and EchoSure

David Narrow has created substantial waves as an entrepreneur in the field of healthcare. At the mere age of 25, he is the CEO of Sonavex and creator of EchoMark and EchoSure.

David’s career with Sonavex began when he noticed that doctors would often have trouble locating previous surgical sites on patients. Locating these surgical sites is crucial for doctors if they are performing a follow-up procedure on a site. Usually the sites would be marked with implants that could be viewed later with an ultrasound. However, the implants that were currently being used were often difficult to accurately pinpoint in the ultrasounds. David realized that the healthcare industry needed a better implant that could be more easily seen and located with an ultrasound. So he started Sonavex and designed EchoMark.

EchoMark is a surgical implant made from a polymer material that is harmless to the human body. At the end of surgery, a doctor can insert EchoMark into the surgical site to mark it for later procedures. EchoMark’s unique shape causes the sound waves of an ultrasound to bounce off of it at multiple angles, enabling doctors and nurses to distinguish its location more quickly and accurately than previous surgical markers. If a second surgery in the area is not needed, EchoMark dissolves within 18-24 months after insertion, without needing to be removed. David’s product aptly filled an important need in healthcare, but it wasn’t long before he found a new need to tackle.

Another problem that medical professionals face is the occurrence of blood clots in patients who have undergone any surgical procedure in which veins or arteries are reconnected. Over 550,000 patients per year experience this type of surgery, which always involves the risk of blood clots. If a clot occurs and is not diagnosed and treated quickly, the patient may experience serious harm and have to undergo even more extensive surgeries. In response to this problem, David designed EchoSure, an ultrasound system that monitors patients’ newly connected blood vessels for clots. The system automatically alerts medical personnel of flow loss in a vessel. EchoSure’s intuitive interface allows medical professionals to use it without needing any training in ultrasound. As such, EchoSure acts as an early warning system against blood clots, allowing for rapid diagnosis and treatment before they can cause substantial damage.

David Narrow’s creativity and innovation to solve problems in healthcare have benefited numerous patients and have paved the way for even more valuable technology.

Jolt — A New and Innovative Concussion Prevention

Ben Harvatine, a wrestler and a junior MIT, had no idea that he had just suffered a concussion during one fateful practice. Unfortunately, neither did the MIT training staff. Ben continued to practice and compete, trying to push through what he thought was general fatigue or dehydration. When his dizziness persisted, he sought further treatment and was diagnosed with a concussion. This late diagnosis put his wrestling career on hold for a time and precipitated multiple hospitalizations. If Ben could have been diagnosed earlier, his injuries would likely have been much less severe.

While recuperating, Ben began to brainstorm ideas for how this type of situation could be prevented in the future. He and a friend, Seth Berg, eventually designed Jolt, a sensor that could be clipped on to virtually any type of sports headgear (helmet, hat, headband, etc.). Jolt would monitor head trauma during any physical activity and vibrate to alert the wearer of significant injuries. It would also send data and alerts via Bluetooth to an app on a smartphone, tablet, or other device. Jolt has a range of over 200 yards and a battery life of up to two months. Additionally, the app can monitor an unlimited number of sensors at once; and, another huge feature is that a Jolt sensor only costs $99.

This would allow sports players, coaches, or parents to monitor the head impacts sustained by the players. With the information Jolt provides, coaches, parents, trainers, etc. can know when their players suffer serious hits and decide whether the players should keep playing or stop. Jolt would act as an important prevention system to catch concussions before they worsen from further trauma.

In true entrepreneurial fashion, Ben Harvatine and Seth Berg found a need from personal experience and then brainstormed to solve that need. Now, their inventiveness is aiding players and coaches in the fight against concussions. Jolt is keeping players playing and protecting them in the process.

 

Jolt website — http://www.joltsensor.com/

Fever Smart – Colin Hill, Aaron Goldstein

In 2012, Colin Hill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma right as he was about to start college at the University of Pennsylvania. Hill had to undergo extensive chemotherapy treatments, leaving him susceptible to life threatening infections, and a constant need to monitor his temperature to detect these infections as soon as possible. He would check his temperature consistently throughout the day, but at night, this became difficult. One night before he went to bed he had a normal temperature reading, but hours later he woke up with a dangerously high fever and was sent to the emergency room to treat the infection that he did not detect during the night.

He and other U Penn students, William Duckworth, Aaron Goldstein, and Becca Goldstein, began thinking of a solution to this problem. They developed Fever Smart, a smart device that constantly monitors the wearer’s body temperature, sends alerts to a smartphone/tablet/etc. via Bluetooth, as well as uploads the data to the cloud for access anywhere in the world. The device is only 32 mm long and is worn comfortably under the armpit. Although the hospital applications of Fever Smart are wide ranging, Fever Smart is marketed toward parents who want a way to effectively monitor their child’s temperature all throughout the night or when they are not present. Within months, they had a working prototype as well as FDA approval on the device. After an Indiegogo campaign for manufacturing funds raised 75% of its $40,000 goal in the first 24 hours, and then exceeded their goal with $65,000 raised, they launched Fever Smart in January of 2015.

Colin Hill and his group of entrepreneurs identified a significant problem through his own medical experiences, and the insight that those experiences gave them allowed them to formulate an innovative solution. None of the students had any medical background, and yet created a product that was a winner of Entrepreneur Magazine 2014, and can be utilized in the entirety of the medical field to improve healthcare. Fever Smart is just another example of a good idea coming from your personal experiences.

Resources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/fever-smart-patch-from-upenn-students-monitors-fevers-2014-8

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12181431.htm

Another Drop Out Success

Another drop out become successful entrepreneur. Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of her sophomore year at Stanford to pursue her entrepreneurial dream. She dropped out as a chemical engineering major to create a blood diagnosing startup. The problem of correctly diagnosing was the problem that Elizabeth noticed. Too many people were either having to wait hours for expensive testing to get done at hospitals or they were incorrectly diagnosing themselves online. The company, Theranos, created a mini blood testing lab that is the size of a microwave. It is portable and does a majority of the tests that usually takes a large lab to do, with only small samples of blood. This method gets results faster and at a fraction of the price. With this, the company even innovated the finger prick device into something that requires less blood and gives a more accurate result. not only this, but all the devices are being produced in the USA to create American jobs.

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If you have ever watched an Episode of Grey’s Anatomy, there will usually be someone complaining about labs taking too long or patients freaking out about the cost of taking too many tests. This product innovates the entire lab process into one device. It is like a computer that blood is an input, and it condenses all the tests into one place. My opinion is that they are focused on creating a cheaper method, so why aren’t the producing in the cheapest way possible, overseas? What are your thoughts on this?