Harvard Wyss Institute spins out apnea prevention startup MediCollector

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University developed bedside data-acquisition software as part of its infant apnea prevention program. Now, it's spun off the technology into a new startup known as MediCollector.

The new company has already further tweaked the initial software to create a portable software application that can be used with various patient monitors and devices. Its initial applications are expected to be clinical and another startup, Israeli-based NanoVation-GS that itself spun out of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, is using the software to test and validate its nanomaterial respiration sensors on newborns in infants with apnea in hospital.

"While we were developing and testing our apnea-prevention technology, it became increasingly clear that one of its components, the data-acquisition software, had great potential value for a broad range of applications in research and healthcare, and not just for newborns in the intensive care unit," James Niemi, lead senior staff engineer in the Anticipatory Medical and Cellular Device Platform at the Wyss Institute, said in a statement.

The original Wyss apnea prevention system included three components, the software that acquires vital signs including breathing activity, an algorithm that can accurately predict apneic episodes before they occur and a mattress that vibrates to prompt patient breathing to revert to a normal pattern. MediCollector has been formed about the first one, the software that gathers vital sign data.

"In today's hospitals, clinically-relevant measurements, such as heart rate and blood pressure, are usually only recorded at infrequent intervals. Most of the vital data generated by medical devices at the bedside is therefore lost and never recorded," said John Osborne, a senior staff engineer at the Wyss Institute.

Added David Paydarfar, a Wyss associate faculty member and a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester, who was the scientific lead on the apnea prevention project, "A wealth of data could be collected with this software and mined to better understand how critical physiological changes evolve in patients with varying conditions, as well as how they respond to treatments. In principle, this can lead to more effective therapies."

- here is the release

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