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MIT, GE and Analog Devices partner on electronic medical device center

May 27, 2011

New research center will develop innovative medical technologies for next-generation medical electronic systems

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced the creation of the Medical Electronic Device Realization Center (MEDRC), in collaboration with Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) and GE Global Research. The new center will aim to create revolutionary improvements in multiple areas of the medical industry, including electronic devices, diagnostics and treatments, and technologies to enable information-driven health-care systems.

"A radical change is taking place in how medical care is being delivered, with delivery moving to 'point of care' rather than having patients travel to a doctor's office or hospital," said Charles Sodini, LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and co-founder of MEDRC. "MEDRC will develop technologies for patient-monitoring devices, point-of-care instruments and the communication technology to connect patients to caregivers. These technologies will enable affordable and accessible delivery of services to patients across the globe."

The MEDRC will foster the creation of prototype devices and intellectual property, and will serve as a catalyst for implementing innovative technology that will reduce the cost of health care in both the developed and developing world. In this sense, the center will serve as a focal point, bringing together large business, venture-funded startups and the medical community.

Along with Sodini, who is affiliated with Microsystems Technology Laboratories, the MEDRC will be lead by Brian W. Anthony, director of the master of engineering in manufacturing program (Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity), and Joel Voldman, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science (Research Laboratory of Electronics).

"A health-care revolution in which modern medical devices are bringing the hospital, laboratory and physician into a patient's home is well under way," said Patrick O'Doherty, vice president, Healthcare Group, Analog Devices, Inc. "ADI is excited to work with MIT on researching new technology that furthers this movement and gives patients more control over their health and wellness."

ADI engineers and MEDRC scientists plan to research technologies that enable portable, non-invasive monitoring of vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate. Novel sensors of physiological signals, coupled with smart algorithms to process and reduce the data for communication with extremely low energy, are being developed by the team. The lead MIT investigator is Charles Sodini.

"MEDRC will develop patient monitoring innovations that will shape how medical care is delivered to patients," said Peter Serpentino, business program manager for health care technologies at GE Global Research. "We are delighted to collaborate with research scientists at MIT to make our Healthymagination vision of bringing higher quality, more affordable healthcare to more patients globally."

GE is interested in a project to simplify routine ultrasound measurements and improve the quality and diagnostic capabilities of ultrasound imaging. GE researchers are building more intelligence into ultrasound probes in effort to achieve higher quality images and aid in the diagnosis of disease. This project will enable a wider range of health care providers to perform scans and ultimately, hopes to make ultrasound much more accessible in regions where healthcare services are limited. MEDRC researchers will work with GE's ultrasound research team on probe and control algorithms designed to improve ultrasound imaging and diagnostic capabilities. The lead investigator is Brian W. Anthony along with graduate students Matthew Gilbertson, and Shih-Yu Sun.

The Medical Electronic Device Realization Center (MEDRC) is currently located at 60 Vassar St., 39-527 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Original press release here)


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