It is so exciting to see the progress we are making as a health-tech hub in Orlando, and SEMDA is taking notice. At the end of January, several new entrepreneurs got to make their Shark Tank style presentations to the Southeast Medical Device Association's Roadshow Pitch Rounds. They had a chance at a $10,000 prize with even more exposure at the upcoming annual conference in Atlanta on April 26 and 27th (http://semda.net/conference).
Five new Orlando-based companies presented with a wide range of exciting healthcare innovations. Here is a summary of their products, take notice as they are fantastic concepts for the future.
ARC Surgical. Two words: Precision surgery. Until now, the only options for neurosurgeons needing to target deep within the brain were to perform the procedure freehand or use sophisticated imaging guidance that requires more time, which isn't always available. That is what led to the founding of ARC Surgicals by a neurosurgeon and Habeel Gazi, an Orlando resident. Their solution can be used by a neurosurgeon who is present or advising remotely, and it provides the operator with guided navigation to the target using the device and a CT scan. The device looks a bit like a shuttlecock for badminton but does so much more. It is a positioning system for neurosurgical probes that can make it more accurate than a freehand approach and does not require computer assistance. Traumatic brain injury on the battlefield, or at a rural hospital system without neurosurgeons are a few of the exciting possibilities.
Aviana is a cell phone based technology for lab testing and results. It is a miniaturized biosensor capable of attaching to a smartphone/smart device through Bluetooth or other wireless connections. The company's diagnostic system is a simple-to-use, highly sensitive diagnostic platform that can accurately detect an infectious disease within 10-20 minutes. Since it is small, low cost, fast, and portable, it can be used in both time intensive situations and in non-medical areas, moving eventually to home use similar to current pregnancy tests.
KynderMed is working to change preterm labor intervention based on light technology. Their device, which has had success in clinical trials, provides unobtrusive light as a woman sleeps that then lowers melatonin levels. The decrease in melatonin levels is tied to lower oxytocin levels, which leads to lower incidence of night time contractions and reduced preterm labor. Dr. James Olcese, an Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience and Biophysics at Florida State University, has focused his research on this circadian physiology. Light is much less invasive, more cost effective and safer than many of the current methods for preventing premature births. When babies are born prematurely, there is a much higher rate of mortality, require more intensive and costly medical care, and are at risk for a lifetime of complications. This is an important area of research for the health of future children.
iCloak brought a new cybersecurity innovation to SEMDA for medical entities and providers. The company started with the iCloak stick that, when inserted into a computer's USB drive, accesses the web with anonymous networks to protect against threats, along with never accessing the hard drive. Eric Delisle, the founder, has developed an enterprise-wide version on iCloak that does not require inserting a stick, and enables encrypted messages easily as well.
Alan Hamlett and Matt Belman, while obtaining their PhD in engineering at University of Florida, developed the technology behind FES-functional electronic stimulation-that has become Myolyn. Why is this important? Those with spinal cord injuries that have intact peripheral nerves can use this technology to enable them to keep atrophy, pressure sores, spasms, and decreased range of motion at bay. The stimulation is applied via electrode pads placed on the skin over target muscle groups. The electrical current stimulates the peripheral nerves in the muscle, causing the nerve to fire. Then the muscles contract, using the body's own energy to perform functional movement. Myolyn not only provides this equipment for professional rehabilitation centers but it also can be purchased for home use. This technology can be used for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and even orthopedic post-surgical care. A mobile bike is also in development, giving more mobility options for patients, including pediatrics, with spinal cord injuries.
Five Central Florida medical innovations, and the winner was...Myolyn! Best of luck Myolyn on your upcoming Atlanta pitch, we will be pulling for you!
To the other presenters and their companies, we expect to see your devices commercialized in the medical field soon. So proud of what we are doing in Orlando and the brilliant minds that are working on innovations every day!
Physicians, if you're interested in partnering, piloting, or mentoring with these new companies, please send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Learn more at: www.Ihi.org
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