The following projects are a few examples of development efforts by the staff at Koronis Biomedical Technologies.
Wearable Wireless Physiological Monitoring Devices for Aging Research
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has identified a significant need for minimally-invasive, non-intrusive, wearable, and cost-effective devices that can be integrated into the daily lives of the elderly. Such sensor technology would provide researchers and clinicians vital information as to the variations and rates of changes in physiological parameters during the slow progression of the aging process. This data can be utilized in understanding and modeling health and age-related events/episodes. The goal of this project is to create a set of tools for physiologic data collection aimed at aging research in the natural setting of the home environment. This system will be a valuable tool for researchers and has the potential to provide early diagnosis of changes in the aging process for clinicians. KBT is working with Dr. Vera Novak at the SAFE (Syncope and Falls in the Elderly) Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. The SAFE laboratory, which is established as a part of NIH-funded General Clinical Research Center at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is studying the effects of aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders on cerebrovascular and locomotor systems.
A Chronic Disease Management Solution
Addressing the needs of the chronically ill can reduce health care costs. Approximately 1% of the population receives 35% of the health care resources -- 2.7 million people receive $367 billion in care resources. Eighty percent of these patients have one or more of four chronic illnesses: diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma. These four diseases can be managed, and studies have demonstrated that addressing the needs of these chronically ill patients can dramatically reduce the overall cost of care. In this project, KBT is working with leading telehomecare companies to implement a new low power and low cost wireless connectivity network for securely connecting home medical devices to Chronic Disease Management systems. The enabling technology for this project is the recently developed ZigBee wireless connectivity standard. The utilization of wireless ZigBee will significantly improve device installation in older houses by allowing placement of a device in a location convenient for telephone wiring without the need for user access. The patient is free to use battery powered medical devices in any room of the house without cables. Examples of these devices include blood pressure monitors, weight scales, glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters.
An Implantable Wireless Myoelectric Sensor for Prosthetic Control
KBT is developing a wireless implantable myoelectric sensor system to control an upper extremity prosthetic. Surface electrodes in modern myoelectric prosthetics are often embedded in the prosthesis socket and make contact with the skin. These electrodes detect and amplify muscle action potentials from voluntary contractions of the muscle in the residual limb and are used to control the prosthetic’s movement and function. There are a number of performance-related deficiencies associated with external electrodes including the maintenance of sufficient electromyogram (EMG) signal amplitude, extraneous noise acquisition, and proper electrode interface maintenance that are expected to be improved or eliminated using the proposed implanted sensors. The objective of this program is to replace external electrodes with fully-implantable myoelectric sensors that include a wireless interface to the prosthetic limbs.