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Nano-Bio Materials Consortium (NBMC), a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, launched a project with GE Research to develop a medical-grade wireless patch that monitors the vital signs of medical patients during emergency air transport. The device promises to advance the state-of-the-art in medical care coordination, records management and patient outcomes in aeromedical evacuation but will also help drive advances in consumer-based telehealth.
The 24-month project is funded at $4.22 million, with costs, research and development shared by NBMC, GE Research, the State of New York, State University of New York at Binghamton, DuPont, and UES, Inc. The SEMI-NBMC program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) located in Dayton, Ohio. The product will be designed to ensure its reliable operation in austere environments and for single- or short term-use applications targeting the global healthcare monitoring market, which was estimated at $5.1 billion for 2019 according to MarketsandMarkets.
“This project marks a crucial advancement in aeromedical care, and accordingly, NBMC is funding another ‘dream team’ of researchers with the combined expertise, creativity and diligence to drive this initiative to successful completion,” said Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI.
“Time is of the essence as medical personnel continuously measures and monitors vital signs of patients during emergency air transport,” said Melissa Grupen-Shemansky, CTO of SEMI and executive director of NBMC. “That critical data needs to be collected autonomously and wirelessly, communicated precisely when doctors and nurses need it, and delivered in an easy-to-use format. The monitoring patch will break new ground in the advancement of healthcare digital technology, helping to ensure that civilians and military personnel receive the highest level of urgent care and treatment.”
“The convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced wireless communication networks like 5G with advanced sensors and materials is spurring new applications in telehealth that will revolutionize patient monitoring and treatment,” said Azar Alizadeh, Principal Scientist at GE Research and project leader.
“Our vital signs patch will provide real-time data on a wide variety of key health indicators that will not only help clinicians treating patients in the air, but also enable medical staff on the ground to provide even better, more seamless care following transport,” Alizadeh added. “We’re proud to be partnering with SEMI-NBMC, the AFRL, the State of New York, Binghamton University, Dupont and UES, Inc. to assemble all the right technical pieces to develop this medical breakthrough.”
GE is taking the technical lead with overall device design, fabrication strategy, prototyping, testing and algorithm development. Binghamton University will contribute fabrication, electrical and mechanical characterization strategies. UES will oversee patch performance assessment in simulated aeromedical evacuation environments. And the AFRL will provide operational testing for aeromedical evacuation, patch efficacy and performance assessment in simulated environments.
The design goals will focus on accuracy, clinical reliability, ease of use and wear, manufacturability, and low cost while supporting integration with the U.S. Department of Defense’s electronic health records systems. The patch will support autonomous decision making, an imperative for Continuum of Care in medical treatment. The telehealth protocol is becoming more important in remote patient monitoring.