NASA Technology Licensed for Medical Monitoring
CLEVELAND -- NASA's Glenn Research Center has licensed technology to Endotronix, Inc. of Peoria, Ill. that may help thousands avoid the potentially life-threatening complications of hypertension, abdominal aortic aneurysms and congestive heart failure.
Space communications technology enabled the creation of extremely small antennas for Bio-microelectromechanical systems (Bio-MEMS). The resultant sensors can be implanted in the body and wirelessly transmit findings to a hand-held device that will power the implanted sensor, telemetrically retrieve the data, and transmit it wirelessly to a computer for further assessment and analysis.
The inventors of the technology, Glenn researchers Dr. Felix Miranda and Dr. Rainee Simons, were the first to identify the potential to apply radiofrequency technology to Bio-MEMS sensors. "This technology also has the potential to meet NASA's need to provide non-invasive monitoring of astronaut health during spaceflight," states Drs. Miranda and Simons. "These types of sensors can provide a variety of measurements such as blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen."
"An effort we initiated in 2002 to provide small amounts of funding to demonstrate the application of NASA technology to biomedical problems supported this technology application," said Kathleen Needham of Glenn's Innovative Partnerships Program. "It is exciting to see the first of these efforts be licensed, and we hope it will result in many more benefits to all in the years to come."
Endotronix, Inc., which is expanding operations in Cleveland, Ohio with the assistance of BioEnterprise and TechLift, recognized the potential of this technology to develop minimally invasive wireless health monitoring systems in the area of cardiovascular disease. "The technology originally developed at NASA Glenn can enable frequent and accurate monitoring of patient health data in both the home and hospital. Wireless patient health monitoring has the potential to improve healthcare by enhancing treatment paradigms and reducing the overall cost of care," stated Dr. Anthony Nunez, co-founder and CEO of the company.
By providing physicians with tools to enable more frequent and more accurate monitoring than that currently available, Endotronix, Inc. hopes to avoid life-threatening complications caused by high blood pressure and aneurysms. The data provided by Endotronix's products can aid physicians in optimizing the impact of anti-hypertensive medication and other treatments.
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