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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Students create revolutionary medical devices

ResCue Medical Systems, a student-formed company, is designing machines that provide “just-in-time training” through the use of visual images so people who have no medical training can still perform complicated procedures.

“With our technology people can perform (procedures) as well as the people who know how,” said Rachna Malhotra, an MBA student.

The company’s first prototype tackles cardiac arrest, which 350,000 U.S. citizens experience every year.

“Ninety-five percent of them die because effective CPR is not performed on those people,” Malhotra said.

The prototype system provides graphical instructions on how to do CPR. It consists of a screen in which the graphical images are seen and sensors located on the air mask and in pads that are placed on the patient’s chest.

The machine gives feedback through these sensors to ensure it is performed properly. If a person is giving chest compressions without the right depth and speed, the system will tell the person do things like push harder or faster.

Although the current size of the prototype is that of a large suitcase, the team is working to make the machine compact-roughly the mass of a carry-on bag.

“We want to make it more compact so it can be carried,” said Srinath Lingutla, a Ph.D. bioengineering student and member of the team.

The company won second place in the Opportunity Quest business program on Jan. 20 and plans to enter more business competitions for funds.

When the company raises enough money, Lingutla said they would then be able to develop the machine to sell in the commercial market within a year’s time.

The group hopes to develop two different machines. One a person could plug into an existing computer, and the second would be a complete system.

“The idea is to make it available in? many places?just like a fire extinguisher,” Rachna said. “In case someone has a cardiac arrest, you should be able to get this system and try to save the person.”

The U received a grant from NASA to develop the system to be used in the international space station.

NASA was looking for medical solutions because they thought the current medical training astronauts receive was insufficient for emergencies, said Santosh Balakrishnan, doctoral student in bioengineering.

The concept for the machine was developed by a team of U professors from the schools of architecture, psychology, business, medical and bioengineering.

The U owns the technology and once the product is ready to be sold, the company will license the machine. In return, the school will receive part of the revenue.

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