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Bioinformatics - advances in medical technology/procedures (institutional, professional)

Harvard researchers the first to 3D print an organ-on-a-chip

Researchers at the Harvard Wyss Institute were the first to 3D print an organ-on-a-chip resembling a human heart which can be used to test drugs. The organ-on-a-chip has integrated sensors that automates the collection of data from the device, making it easier and more precise to measure its performance. This new method allows for the automated and mass production of organs-on-a-chip, leading to faster drug screening. Its 3D printing system can also be programmed to print other organs-on-a-chip such as the lung, gut, vascular system and more. The Wyss team plans to print 10 organ-on-a-chips and connect them to simulate the human body. 

Key Takeaway: 

Researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute have produced the first 3D printed organ-on-a-chip, a heart chip, with a system that can lead to the mass production of other organs-on-a-chip, resulting to faster screening of drugs without the need to test on animals or humans.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 27, 2016

Intel’s venture capital firm to invest $38 million in startups

Intel Capital is investing $38 million in a dozen startups focused on autonomous machines, data and connectivity, sports and health, and virtual reality. One of the robotics firms, Chronocam, is creating computer vision sensors and systems that are like the biological human eye. Embodied is making socially assistive robots while Perrone Robotics is developing a software platform for autonomous vehicles and robots. Among the four startups focused on data and connectivity, two are China-based: Eazytec which provides IoT technologies for monitoring the water and air in China and Grand Chip Microelectronics which offers connectivity solutions for WLAN, Wi-Fi, cellular and IoT. The two others are Paxata, which is working on a business information platform that turns raw data into meaningful information for enterprise and IT users and StealthMine, which is securing data encryption for enterprise applications. Sports and health firms Cubeworks, Kinduct and L4Connect are developing tiny millimeter-sized wireless sensors, a data and analytics platform, and dashboards respectively. Virtual reality startup Dysonics is working on solutions that will enable people to capture 360-degree sounds for live VR experiences. Lastly, InContext Solutions is helping manufacturers and retailers simulate their products and services in virtual reality.

Key Takeaway: 

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital firm, is investing $38 million in 12 startups focused on robotics, IoT connectivity and data analytics, sports, health and wellness, as well as virtual reality, with technologies that are ground-breaking and could be useful for various customer markets such as the enterprise, health and wellness organizations.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to invest $3 billion to cure disease

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a limited liability company formed by Facebook's Mark Zuckergberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, will invest $3 billion over the next decade to building technologies that could cure, prevent and manage diseases. Part of the fund will be used to set up a hub called BioHub where researchers from Stanford, Berkeley and UCSF will collaborate on discoveries to treat disease. The investment will also seek to solve the problem of the four major causes of death - heart disease, infectious disease, neurological disease and cancer. It is estimated that the US spends 50 times more money on treating diseases than preventing it.

Key Takeaway: 

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will spend $3 billion in the next 10 years to discover and invent technology-enabled tools that can treat and prevent diseases.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 21, 2016

EQ-Radio wirelessly reads a person's emotions and heart rate

MIT researchers have developed a system that can tell when a person's happy, sad, angry or joyful by wirelessly scanning their heart rate and breathing. EQ-Radio beams RF signals that retrieve data on a person's heartbeat and breathing without plastering electrodes on the skin. The data is compared to prior information from a study of human test subjects who watched videos or listened to music that evoked feelings of pleasure, sadness, anger or joy. The system was found to be 87% accurate to predict emotions and achieved a 70% success rate on people it had not scanned before. According to the researchers, EQ-Radio has applications in the study of consumer behavior, the smart home, as well as in health monitoring equipment. It could also monitor and give insights to psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and arrhythmia.

Key Takeaway: 

EQ-Radio wirelessly scans a person’s heart beat and breathing predicting with 87% accuracy his emotions; the device can aid in the study of psychological conditions and have practical applications in marketing research and assistive smart devices at home.

Publication Date: 
September 20, 2016

How virtual reality will transform businesses

Business and technology experts predict virtual reality will transform the business environment. Virtual reality can let customers experience and interact with a product before buying. It can also be used to train employees and surgeons for difficult tasks. Other uses include taking stock of inventory and hosting virtual conferences. As the price drops and features become more powerful, expect virtual reality to be adopted by more companies. In the future, better sensors will enable higher quality images, more accurate motion detection, and lighter and more affordable headsets. Lightweight materials such as carbon fiber could also be incorporated and smart objects integrated to create different applications.

Key Takeaway: 

Pundits predict increased adoption of virtual reality among businesses, changing how organizations market their products, train employees, conduct events, manufacture products and more.

Transforming Business Models: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
August 22, 2016

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