Projects

Projects

Learn about the projects completed as part of the Engineering Innovation in Health program. Many of these projects are still active and have gone on to continued success in entrepreneurship competitions. If you are interested in working on any of these projects, please contact us at EIHealth@uw.edu.

Automated Continuous Bladder Irrigation

Continuous bladder irrigation (CBI) is a process in which a nurse flushes saline through the bladder in order to wash out blood and prevent clotting after urologic surgeries. If a clot forms, it can make it impossible for the patient to urinate and lead to an extended hospital stay. CBI is performed on more than 150,000 patients per year in the U.S, but it is a manual process that requires a high level of monitoring from a nurse. This CBI device automates the process by detecting the level of blood in urine and managing saline inflow accordingly.

The ACBI team won the JARL award at the 2017 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge.

ACBI device

Engineering team

  • Allegra Branch
  • Claudia Covelli
  • Lefteris Kampianakis
  • Akshay Randad
  • Jialu Sun

Clinicians & consultants

  • Tony Chen, M.D. (Urology)
  • Jonathan Liu, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Cardiac Arrest Monitor

Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among people over 40. The treatment for cardiac arrest is CPR or defibrillation. The trick is to catch cardiac arrest quickly in order to treat the patient immediately, because the mortality rate for cardiac arrest victims increases by 10% for every minute that action is not taken. To monitor for cardiac arrest, EKG machines or SPO2 monitors are used, but these devices exhibit inaccuracies. This new cardiac arrest monitoring device uses ultrasound Doppler technology to monitor the carotid artery, which allows for quick and accurate recognition of cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest monitor

Engineering team

  • Nate Broughton
  • Paula Cieszkiewicz
  • Ziwen Guo
  • Ilsa Juhlin
  • Brittany Lasher
  • Han Baek Lee
  • Michael MacConnell
  • Scott Yoshida

Clinicians & consultants

  • Anthonio Brandt, M.D. (Emergency Medicine)
  • Bruce Darling, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering)
  • Adam Maxwell, Ph.D. (Applied Physics Lab)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Gerardo Rodriquez, M.D. (Emergency Medicine)
  • Nathan White, M.D., M.S. (Emergency Medicine)

Enteroatmospheric Fistula Isolation

An enteroatmospheric fistula (EAF) is a hole between the gastrointestinal tract and an unhealed wound, and thus the open air. Between 1,000 and 4,000 cases occur annually in the United States, with a mortality rate of over 40%. EAF leak interstitial fluid into the wound, which hampers the healing process. Current methods to heal the abdominal wounds surrounding EAF are time consuming to install and don’t last long. This fistula isolation device is easy to install, stays in place once installed thanks to the silicone microbeads that fill it, and allows fluid to flow out of the body without irritating the wound bed.
Enteroatmospheric fistula isolation device

Engineering team

  • Kenza Coubrough
  • Brennan Enright
  • Brianna Goodwin
  • Nhu Nguyen

Clinicians & consultants

  • Nancy Unger, NP (Wound Ostomy)
  • JoAnn D Whitney, Ph.D. (Nursing)
  • Sam Arbabi, M.D. (Critical Care)

Intravenous Arm Trainer

Over 200,000 IV catheters are placed daily in the United States; however, there is a 50% fail rate for correctly placing the catheter on the first needlestick. Healthcare students need to be able to train to place IVs, but existing arm trainers lack anatomical and physiological accuracy. As a consequence, students resort to practicing on other students or on patients, which poses an infection risk. This new arm trainer has a unique four-layer tissue and rolling vein behavior that provide the most realistic training experience possible for students.
IV arm trainer device

Engineering team

  • Shane Cameron
  • Elizabeth Lee
  • Emily Roach
  • Juan Sanchez
  • James Gianelli

Clinicians & consultants

  • David Hananel (Simulation Science)
  • Troy Reihsen (Simulation Science)
  • Eric Seibel, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Mouthshield

Traumatic dental injuries are costly and have life-long consequences, but they can be prevented by wearing a mouthguard. Existing mouthguard solutions that can be worn by people with braces are bulky and uncomfortable, and they can make breathing and speaking difficult. This discomfort leads athletes to avoid the use of mouthguards, which makes them susceptible to injury. The Mouthshield is an adaptive braces mouthguard that is low profile and comfortable to wear, while still protecting the wearer from dental injuries.
Mouthsheild model

Engineering team

  • Jeremy Brockmann
  • Liam Keefe
  • Jay Rutherford
  • Blake Sander
  • Devon Sasaki

Clinicians & consultants

  • Neal Bastian, DDS (Orthodontics)
  • Raquel Capote, DMD, MSD, MPH (Orthodontics)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Douglas Ramsay, DMD, Ph.D., MSD (Orthodontics)

Venous Ulcer Compression

Venous ulcers, which affect 1% of the adult population, are painful open sores that occur when veins are unable to correctly pump blood out of the leg and fluid pools. Compression is the most common form of treatment, but compression bandages are applied by clinicians to ensure proper fit, are not reusable, and must be replaced weekly. Some current compression devices don’t require a clinician to apply, but they are not usable by low strength or limited mobility patients. This new compression device is easily applied and adjusted, using a Boa Technology knob and wire system, and includes an active pressure feedback system to optimize healing.
Compression device

Engineering team

  • Asim Drebi
  • Joey Riggs
  • Courtney Shaeffer
  • Carl Svanevik
  • Korinne Zoellick

Clinicians & consultants

  • Sarah Whitehead, ARNP (Vascular Medicine)
  • Eric Seibel, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

EpiForAll

Anaphylaxis is an acute, severe, and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. A single shot of epinephrine can dramatically improve outcomes for anaphylaxis; however, epinephrine auto injectors can cost hundreds of dollars are not readily available in low- and middle-income countries. EpiForAll is an affordable epinephrine auto-injector used to treat anaphylaxis. EpiForAll revolutionizes auto-injectors by using readily available, low cost epinephrine ampules. EpiForAll won the 2017 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge and continues to be developed at UW.
Epi4All team

Engineering team

  • Zachary Chen
  • Ha Seung Chung
  • Jazmine Saito
  • Wealth Salvador
  • Shawn Swanson

Clinicians & consultants

  • Julie Brown, M.D., MPH (Emergency Medicine)
  • Ben Carney, M.D., M.S. (Radiology)
  • Keith Chan, M.D., M.S. (Radiology)
  • Edgardo Jares, M.D.
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Ken Linnau, M.D., M.S. (Radiology)

Improved Percutaneous Gastrostomy Tube

Gastrostomy tubes (g-tubes) enable patients to receive adequate nutrition who otherwise could not. G-tubes that are placed through the skin percutaneously have a tendency to dislodge, necessitating an unanticipated and expensive clinical procedure. This new g-tube design can be placed percutaneously and has improved retention. The resulting g-tube design features a bell that crushes for easy insertion and then inverts to provide superior retention.
Diagram of an improved gastronomy tube

Engineering team

  • Jonathan Ahn
  • Sam Huy
  • Carly Morgan
  • Zhenzhen Su
  • Peter Yost

Clinicians & consultants

  • Keith Chan, M.D., M.S. (Radiology)
  • Derek Khorsand, M.D. (Radiology)
  • Donald J. Perry, M.D. (Radiology)
  • George Soltes, M.D. (Radiology)

MistEase

Elderly patients with glaucoma may have problems dispensing eye drop medications due to physical limitations. MistEase is an eye drop assistant device that makes it easier to apply eye drops. The slender, ergonomic design of MistEase fits comfortably against the average person’s facial contours so the medication can be properly aligned to the eye, and the trigger design allows patients to effortlessly actuate the spray with reduced input force.
Applying eye drops

Engineering team

  • Elizabeth Laughlin
  • Justin Li
  • Yuanning Mao
  • Alex Muirhead

Clinicians & consultants

  • Stefan Foulstone (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Joanne C. Wen, M.D. (Ophthalmology)

Parastomal Hernia Support Harness

Patients who have undergone gastrointestinal stoma formation surgery are at high risk for parastomal hernias. Specially designed support belts help prevent patients from forming hernias, but existing belts are ineffective, uncomfortable, and difficult to don. This improved hernia support harness is easy to use and stays in place when the wearer moves. A foam disk on the inside of the belt distributes the force on the abdomen, and the wearer can adjust the force applied to hernia-risk regions with the simple turn of a dial. The prototype development of this project continues and human subject studies are soon underway.
Parastomal Hernia Support Harness

Engineering team

  • Kasey Acob
  • Venus Chan
  • Nicole Chin
  • Elizabeth Halsne
  • Wasinee Opal Sriapha

Clinicians & consultants

  • Mika N. Sinanan, M.D., Ph.D. (Gastroenterology)
  • Jonathan Liu, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

PeePal

Catheterized individuals are at risk for hematuria, the presence of blood in urine; however, there is no consistent way to measure or communicate the severity of hematuria. PeePal is a small device that clips onto a catheter outflow tube and displays the blood volume fraction in the urine, using spectroscopy to measure specific wavelengths and provide blood absorbance information.
PeePal rendering

Engineering team

  • Morgan Bassford
  • John Chaffee
  • Kyle Kelley
  • Kalyan Kottapalli
  • Ali Lafzi

Clinicians & consultants

  • Wayne Brisbane, M.D. (Urology)
  • Jonathan Liu, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

PlayGait

Children with gait disorders tend to spend limited time walking outside of physical therapy, which can slow their rehabilitation rate. PlayGait is a pediatric exoskeleton that helps children with gait disorders walk more, so they can establish efficient gait patterns and reduce their rehabilitation time.

Since completing EIH, the PlayGait team has received grant funding for further research and development and has filed for a patent through UW CoMotion. PlayGait won third place at the 2017 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge and is a semifinalist in the 2017 Business Plan Competition. The PlayGait team is currently preparing to test with patients and is planning for a controlled initial product release in 2018.

PlayGait Exoskeleton

Engineering team

  • Jeffrey Bergeson
  • Alex Gong
  • Kira Neuman
  • Daniel Parrish
  • Jessica Zistatsis

Clinicians & consultants

  • Brian Glaister
  • Kat Steele, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Sole Train

People with limited mobility due to neurological disorders are commonly prescribed rocker sole orthoses to improve walking ability and encourage a natural walking motion. The current process for making rocker soles is costly and time-consuming due to the iterative nature of determining the optimal rocker shape. Sole Train is a rocker sole that features a PVC cushion that can be easily adjusted before the air is evacuated from the cushion, leaving a rigid sole that can withstand the forces of walking.
Custom rocker sole orthotics

Engineering team

  • Dana Fraij
  • Jackson McFall
  • Jonathan Nang
  • Sasha Portnova

Clinicians & consultants

  • Todd DeWees (Rehabilitation Medicine)
  • Kat Steele, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Ann Yamane, M.Ed. (Rehabilitation Medicine)

Walk ‘n’ Roll

Falling is the sixth leading cause of death for individuals over 65. Four-wheeled walkers help reduce falls if they are used properly; however, accidents are frequent when individuals move down hill or transition from sitting to using the walker. Many individuals who have been prescribed walkers abandon them because their walker is not meeting their needs. Walk 'n' Roll is an improved walker solution that addresses the ergonomic and safety concerns that contribute to walker disuse and frequent accidents. Walk 'n' Roll promotes proper posture, decreases wrist pain, and features speed control and advanced stability control.
Next generation walker for elderly patients

Engineering team

  • Grant Dunaway
  • Sang Uk Sagong
  • Nick Schleck
  • Cassandra Smith
  • Kirsten Winter

Clinicians & consultants

  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Janis Zetlen, M.D. (Physical Therapy)

Clot Failure Diagnostic

During emergency situations, it is important to measure blood clot strength in patients with trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC), a condition where the blood’s ability to stop bleeding by forming clots is impaired. Healthcare providers need to be able to determine the ideal applied blood pressure to mitigate the effects of TIC. This point-of-care diagnostic device can measure clot failure pressure on-the-go in emergency situations. This project continued as a research project in the lab of Dr. Nathan White.
Pop-a-clot diagnostic

Engineering team

  • Ye Chen
  • Sameer Dawande
  • Lucas Oxenford

Clinicians & consultants

  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Nathan Sniadecki, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Dr. Nathan White, M.D., M.S. (Emergency Medicine)

Lung Biopsy Needle

Lung biopsies are performed to diagnose lung cancer; however, biopsy needles can cause pneumothorax (collapsed lungs) due to positive pressure in the space between the lung and the chest wall. This needle includes a vacuum port to suck out the air leaked into this space and prevent pneumothorax. The vacuum remains in place after the biopsy to ensure the lung stays expanded during healing.
Lung biopsy needle rendering

Engineering team

  • Makoto Dodo
  • Parker Johnson
  • Visak C V Kumar
  • Brandon Nguyen

Clinicians & consultants

  • Keith Chan, M.D., M.S. (Radiology)
  • Bruce Lehnert, M.D. (Radiology)
  • Eric Monroe, M.D. (Radiology)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Neonatal Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway

Thousands of infants require oxygen after birth each year. The most common and secure way to provide assistance is intubation, where a tube is passed through the vocal cords into the trachea to provide a secure airway to deliver oxygen using a mechanical ventilator. It is difficult to intubate neonates because of the size and position of their vocal cords. Laryngeal mask airways (LMA) are more easily placed than intubation tubes; however, they are not considered a secure airway that can be used for extended periods. The Neonatal Intubating Laryngeal Mask Airway device can be quickly placed to provide life-saving oxygen to a newborn and then can be simply transformed to a secure intubation tube with no interruption in oxygen flow.
Neonatal Intubating LMA

Engineering team

  • Newsha Farahani
  • Stefan Foulstone
  • Sarah Owen
  • Mark Trupiano

Clinicians & consultants

  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Taylor Sawyer, D.O., M.Ed (Neonatology)

Septic Shock Diagnostic

Septic shock is a significant cause of mortality in low and middle income countries. Capillary refill time (CRT) is the time required for natural color to return to the skin after pressure is applied to induce blanching (whitening). CRT measures perfusion, the body's ability to supply blood to vital organs. CRT has been shown to correlate well with early indicators of septic shock. This device uses the camera and processing power of a mobile phone to easily and accurately measure CRT.
Capillary Refill Diagnostic

Engineering team

  • Vincent Chan
  • Nathan DeBoldt
  • Todd Matsunami

Clinicians & consultants

  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Matthew J. Thompson, M.B.Ch.B., MPH, D.Phil., (Family Medicine)

Advanced prosthesis socket

The prosthesis socket used by trans-tibial amputees compresses the residual limb. When the prosthesis wearer walks, the same force that keeps the prosthetic socket in place squeezes the limb, causing the residual limb to shrink in volume. This decrease in volume results in an uncomfortable, ill-fitting socket. This advanced prosthetic socket has a clamshell design that allows wearers to remove the back-half of the prosthetic, without removing the entire prosthetic, which encourages residual limb volume recovery.
Adjustable prosthetic socket design

Engineering team

  • Garrett Allawatt
  • Sean Pierson
  • Ben Sullivan

Clinicians & consultants

  • John Cagle
  • Glenn Klute, Ph.D.
  • Joan Sanders, Ph.D. (Bioengineering)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Per Reinhall, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Delirious Patient Mitt

Delirium is a common condition in critical care patients. Delirious patients may engage in harmful behavior, pulling out their medical lines or acting aggressively toward healthcare professionals. This delirious patient mitt can be fitted on patients and prevents them from engaging in harmful behavior. The mitt is comfortable and reusable, and it allows nurses easy access to patients' IV sites.
Mitt prototype

Engineering team

  • Holland Crook
  • Dylan Justus
  • Kristina Perez de Tagle
  • Matt Prewett
  • Jay Wolfer

Clinicians & consultants

  • Rhiannon Howard
  • Trish Kritek, M.D.
  • Keri Nasenbeny
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Per Reinhall, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Flexible Biopsy Needle

Lung biopsies are necessary to diagnose lung cancer, but biopsy methods vary in their invasiveness. To access tumor biopsy samples in peripheral regions of the lungs, healthcare professionals must insert a needle through the chest wall instead of using a less-invasive transbronchial method. This flexible biopsy needle allows healthcare professionals to access hard-to-reach tumors via a less invasive bronchoscope.
Two models of the flexible needle

Engineering team

  • Jason Kurtz
  • Wonseok Seo
  • Tyrone Tarjoto
  • Kyle Walker

Clinicians & consultants

  • Ronnie Das, Ph.D.
  • Robb Glenny, M.D.
  • Rhiannon Howard
  • Ann Mescher, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Per Reinhall, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Eric Seibel, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Heart Anchors

Patients with heart disease who are unable to undergo open-heart surgery can instead be treated with a minimally invasive, catheter-based surgery. In this surgery, a clip device is maneuvered via a catheter into the compromised heart valve, but it is difficult to maneuver the clip within the dynamic environment of the heart. Heart Anchors are an inflatable balloon stability system that guides clip equipment and makes it easier to place the clip within the valve.
Heart anchor rendering

Engineering team

  • Kelly Connelly
  • Megan Hurley
  • Matt Michon
  • Eric Truong
  • Anh Vo

Clinicians & consultants

  • Yih-Yan Lin, Ph.D.
  • John Petersen II, M.D. (Cardiology Swedish Hospital)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Per Reinhall, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Mark Reisman, M.D. (Cardiology)
  • Alex Veress, Ph.D.

RAPTER

Patients who need to be airlifted to treatment can become injured in stretcher accidents during transport. Reducing the number of times a patient needs to be transferred between stretchers during transport could lessen the number of medical air transport injuries. RAPTER, or Remote Access Patient Transfer, is a patient loading system that provides a smoother and safer method for transporting stretchers.
RAPTER diagram

Engineering team

  • Rem Baumann
  • Brian Cook
  • Bryce Hobbs
  • Brandon Martz
  • Katie Woodard

Clinicians & consultants

  • Will Hamilton (Island Air)
  • Jackie Hamilton (Island Air)
  • Jonathan Posner, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Per Reinhall, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Fred Silverstein, M.D. (UW Medicine)
  • Nathan White, M.D., M.S. (Emergency Medicine)