Archive for Medical

Unlimited Tomorrow – Easton LaChapelle

Easton LaChapelle was just 14 when he made his first robotic hand. It was made from Legos and fishing wire and put together in his bedroom. His creation took home third place at the 2011 Colorado state science fair, but an encounter at that fair sparked an idea for Easton. He met a 7 year old girl with a prosthetic limb. He said, “[It had] one motion — open, close — and one sensor, and just this alone was $80,000.” This pricetag shocked Easton, and he vowed to invent a prosthetic for under $1,000. And he did just that.

Easton developed a prototype using 3D printing that costs just $350 to produce, and made the designs for it open source. He wants to work toward changing the world but recognized that one person alone can’t do that – it takes multiple people to make a difference, and by making his designs open source and letting other people benefit from his ideas, he’s expanding his reach and impacting more lives than he ever could have done on his own. He said, “Our hope is that all developments made from this project can go back into improving the lives of everyone who inspired our work.”

Check out his robotics start-up and watch this video for more about his story:

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?

Daniel Fine

With many entrepreneurs arising it is getting harder to differentiate. Many of them seem to be pushing the technology side of things with social media and new apps. Some however want to take a different approach. Daniel Fine is a millennial entrepreneur who was named one of the World’s Top Five Entrepreneurs, and one of TIME Magazine’s Top 25 International Leaders of Tomorrow. This man has also done amazing things in the medical realm. He has also won two volunteer-service awards from George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

His little brother was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and this influenced him to help all who are in need who have type 1 diabetes.  This led him to create an app that is to launch soon. The app is called Dosed. This app tracks your insulin dosage, and is all done very easily. The app has a “6th Grade Proficiency.”

He also brought Glass-U to the world. This is a folding sunglasses company that is licensed to hundreds of universities and to almost every fraternity and sorority in the United States.

Daniel Fine has brought some cool and helpful stuff to this world and will continue to do so.

SIRUM – “the Match.com for unused drugs”

Every year in the United States, $5 billion (yes, billion with a ‘b’!) of unused and unexpired prescription drugs are destroyed.  At the same time, 50 million Americans don’t refill their prescriptions because of the cost.  A group of Stanford graduates wanted to find a way to easily connect the surplus and the need.  In 2009, Kiah Williams, Adam Kircher, and George Wang created SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine), a non-profit dedicated to deliver unused medicine to people in need.

SIRUM works in 4 easy steps.  SIRUM first gets companies and hospitals to stop destroying unused medicine.  This is fairly easy because the companies often have to spend a large amount of money to have the drugs destroyed.  Instead, donating the drugs is free and less of a hassle.  The company or hospital then enters the surplus via SIRUM’s technology.  The company packs up the unused medicine and adds a pre-paid shipping label.  SIRUM picks up the package the next day and distributes it to those in need.  The company or hospital is then able to track the package door-to-door.

This entire transaction is a win-win for everyone involved!  It is much easier and cheaper for hospitals or companies to donate the surplus medicine than to destroy it.  And people who need affordable or free medication can easily get it.  Like cofounder Kiah Williams said, SIRUM is “like the Match.com for unused drugs”.  SIRUM was able to meet the needs of two different groups, with no downside to either group.  To learn more about SIRUM, click here.

Theranos

Theranos is a company started by Stanford drop out Elizabeth Holmes. The company has created a product that allows for a painless blood draw. The product is being introduced in drug stores like Walgreens. Predictions are being made that this will alter the healthcare industry as a whole as this new way to draw and test blood will most likely become mainstream, and standard in the near future.

Elizabeth Holmes is 31 years old and is worth roughly 4.7 billion as of July 2015. She currently is on the board of Fellows for Harvard Medical school. Her impact has been great, as less blood is needed to run a sample, thus requiring only a finger prick. She is a great example of someone who saw an issue that no one was solving and took initiative to figure it out. Technology has allowed her to create her fortune.

Medic Mobile

Isaac Holeman, Josh Nesbit, and Nadim Mahmud created Medic Mobile a company that connects medical mission organizations in developing countries. Medic Mobile is being used in over twenty countries over 16,000 health workers use the information it provides. Medic mobile is an example of a social entrepreneurship venture that is capable of tracking disease outbreaks, resource levels, emergency or danger broadcasting, and pregnancy registration. This data provides statistical data that allows for trends to be determined, which can effect future action plans. The data is accumulated by many organizations thus creating a network which is more powerful than one organization alone. The three co-founders of Medic Mobile founded the company after conducting pediatric AIDS research in Malawi. They came across a physician that was frustrated with the disorganization of relief efforts. The physician served so many, and felt that treatment plans could be developed from trends. Treatment plans could be orchestrated and alleviate possible outbreaks or redundancies.

Smart phone technology connects the world in so many ways, the three co-founders were able use the networking power modern technology provides to cut down on miscommunication, hopefully preventing future disease outbreaks, and proper allocation of resources.

Watsi – Radically Transparent

Chase AdamA few years ago, Chase Adam was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when a woman boarded the bus and began asking for donations for her child’s medical treatment.  Because panhandling is so prevalent in that area of the world, Adam was shocked to see all of the natives give the women money for her child.  He realized the natives believed this woman because she had the child’s information and had established a sense of trust with them.  Inspired, Adam returned to the United States with the goal of starting a non-profit to provide healthcare around the world.

However, when Adam returned home, he realized that many non-profits weren’t very efficient and were underfunded.  Adam decided to start a company that was built with an emphasis on impact, efficiency, and transparency.  Watsi, launched in August 2012, is a “global crowdfunding platform for healthcare” – basically a Kickstarter for medical treatments.  People can donate any amount of money to fund medical treatment and care around the world.  Once a patient’s funding goal is met, the patient receives the treatment.  Watsi then updates all of the donors with the patient’s treatment outcome.Watsi Logo

Watsi is different from most non-profits because 100% of the money donated goes directly to people in need.   All of Watsi’s operating expenses are paid for by optional tips or other philanthropists.  Watsi prides itself on being “radically transparent”.  In fact, all of their financial information in public knowledge and can be seen on their Transparency Document on their website (check if out here!).  That way, you can see exactly where your money is going.

After a slow start, Watsi was the first nonprofit to received funding from Y Combinator, a tech company incubator program.  Watsi took off and, within 2 years, raised more than $2 million, all of which went to patients in need.  In 2014, Adam was listed on Forbes list of 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs.  Inspired by the woman on the bus, Adam was able to take an idea he was passionate about and use it to help thousands of people about the world.

FITGuard

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “sports related injuries?” Concussions are the first thing that many people think of. There are about 3.8 million sports-related concussions per year, and that’s with only 47 percent of the athletes that have concussion symptoms actually reporting so. Because of this lack of reporting, serious neurocognitive injuries can occur, especially at the high school level a large portion of which can be attributed to the lack of technology available compared to the college or professional level.

Founded in 2013, Force Impact Technologies set out to help eliminate the lack of reporting and lower the risk of neurological damage by creating the FITGuard, a head-injury awareness mouthguard. Founders, Anthony Gonzales and Bob Merriman were college athletes who witnessed the impact of concussions first hand, and with their degrees, decided to make a product that would help them and their fellow teammates to be more aware of each hit that occurred during an athletic competition.

With the technology embedded into the FITGuard, the mouthguard can detect rapid changes in acceleration that breach a predetermined threshold and alert the user through flashing of LED light or by a free app that connects through Bluetooth. Athletes or parents could access this information in real time or even coaches could have their entire team sync to the same cloud and could monitor all their players during sporting events. The FITGuard is only a small glimpse into how technology can and will be integrated into sports in the future.

FITGuard

Eko Devices

The evolution of smart phone technology  has modified so many functions of everyday life. It started with music, and quickly took over the necessity for computers, and then wallets. Now smart phone technology has the ability to allow doctors to move away from their signature accessory: the stethoscope- to a more modern sleeker version.

Eko Devices allows doctors to use a stethoscope attachment that amplifies the patient’s heart beat into a software program on smart phones. The key to this new advancement is core technology( the amplification device). The Core transmits the sound waves into the Eko application in which the sound is recorded and can be stored and filed under each patient.

Eko Devices was founded by three guys (Connor Landgraf, Tyler Crouch, and Jason Bellet) with a dream to modernize one of the simplest duties of a medical professional. They have received over 800,000 dollars in angel donations to get their company off the ground. The core system is available for purchase, and the application is available for all apple devices and coming soon to android. Currently Eko Devices is backed by countless industry leaders, and well known physicians.

These three young men saw a device that wasn’t dated by any means, but decided it was time to modernize it. I think it will be interesting to see how they adapt their business model to be conducive to other adapters, allowing the medical professional to take other vital signs right from their smart phone.