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Watch: Biotech Innovations Featured in Captivating Lightning Talks

Watch: Biotech Innovations Featured in Captivating Lightning Talks

This year’s ITHS/WE-REACH Expo focused on the latest advancements in biotech and vaccine development. Keynote presentations focused on developing targeted vaccines for breast cancer, development of a substance abuse vaccine that targets opioids, and developing innovative vaccine technology that has the potential to revolutionize the field of immunology.

In addition to the keynote presentations, the event also featured an hour of fascinating lightning talks that focused on new inventions in the biomedical field. We’ve captured those lighting talks here – each one under three minutes, but detailing the incredible work being done to support innovation in this space.

Andy Lewis: An Airway for Emergencies

Andy Lewis talked about the Everting Emergency Airway, and emphasized that in critical situations such as cardiac arrest, stroke, drug overdose, loss of consciousness, or other traumatic injury, a patient is likely to require EndoTracheal Intubation (ETI). ETI and related technologies require significant training and improper use can lead to serious injuries. Lewis noted that their Everting Emergency Airway is designed for intubation use in emergency scenarios by experts and bystanders with little to no training, much like an Automated Emergency Defibrillator (AED). Video:

Varad Shenoy introduced a novel low-cost wearable medical device for non-invasive mitigation of high intracranial pressure in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients en route to the hospital called AugmenFlo. AugmenFlo aims to improve the clinical outcomes of TBI patients by promoting early treatment and faster recovery. Video:

Elizabeth Johnson emphasized the need for better communication about drug interactions, side effects, and emergency contacts to prevent potential harm or dropout from life-saving clinical trials. To mitigate these issues, Johnson’s team developed a QR code, sound-reactive wearable band called TrialWear that provides quick access to critical trial information for healthcare providers, ensuring participant safety and retention. Video:

Joelle Tudor unveiled CathConnect, a prototype development to prevent trauma associated with urinary catheter removal, a process that can cause severe injuries like tearing delicate tissue. This innovation involves a device that disconnects the tubing when pulled to prevent injuries. The creation of CathConnect began in the Engineering Innovation Health Program, and they have developed a fully functional device by collaborating with engineers and medical experts. Tudor shared that their next steps involve large-scale manufacturing and FDA preparation, aiming to revolutionize catheter safety and patient care. Video:

Jonathan Reichel and his team of researchers have invented a groundbreaking platform using epigenetic knowledge derived from cell-free DNA screening data to predict preeclampsia risk in the first trimester with 90% accuracy, surpassing existing solutions. Although this platform’s potential extends to various medical contexts and for different disorders, its primary focus is to address the pressing issue of unmet needs in prenatal care. Video:

Kathleen Kearney:Detect IV

Kathleen Kearney shared that 250 million IVs are inserted each year, and over 50% of these IVs will fail, with over 90% failure rates in geriatric and pediatric patients. Kearney presented The Detect IV device as a possible solution to mitigate IV failures. The Detect IV aims to detect infiltration and reduce the use of other subpar methods such as expensive monitors or increased staffing, which are often impractical, particularly in resource-limited settings. Detect IV is a low-cost, non-electrical adhesive patch that securely attaches the IV to the skin and enables early detection of symptoms like swelling and fluid leakage at the IV site. This solution has the potential to address the global health problem of IV infiltration in various medical contexts.