Improving Long-Term Compliance for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Therapy
Team: Joana Cabrera, Samir Hossainy, Nikki Tjahjono
Client: George Su, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, San Francisco General Hospital & UCSF, San Francisco
Problem: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a clinical syndrome with significant associated mortality and morbidity. It is estimated that over 22 million patients suffer from OSA in the US. Current major therapeutic options include positive airway pressure (PAP) and mandibular advancement devices that stent or reposition pharyngeal structures to mitigate airways collapse during sleep.
Unfortunately, PAP devices are often described as unwieldy, cumbersome, and uncomfortable (they require external masks, hoses, and pressure units); and mandibular advancement devices can cause side effects such as chewing fatigue, dental malocclusion, and temporomandibular junction (TMJ) pain. As such, overall rates for adherence to either therapy are poor, severely limiting clinical benefit.
Outcome: Students designed a device that would promote higher compliance than PAP or mandibular advancement devices to transform care, health, and well-being for patients with OSA.
Ergonomic Trash Removal for Patients with Arthritis
Team: Sumana Algharbi, Anusree Oruganti, Jared Ryan
Client: Janice Swartz, MD, Recalled Professor in Residence, UCSF School of Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco
Problem: Individuals with limited mobility and flexibility face serious challenges to maintaining independence in living arrangements. Loss of independence by moving to a residential facility adversely impacts mental health, and contributes to exorbitant health care costs in the US and worldwide. One often under-recognized problem is the difficulty that individuals with limited mobility have with keeping their residences sanitary, including with simply inserting and removing a garbage can liner.
Outcome: Students devised a new trash can that enables individuals with limited mobility and flexibility to perform the simple task of removing waste from the home.
Improving ICU Communications
Team: Diego Alcantar, Yining Chen, Suhaas Garre, Sarah Ogden
Client: Arash Afshinnik, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Neurology, UCSF School of Medicine, Fresno
Problem: The intensive care unit (ICU) is a hectic environment, with a dire need for clear and effective communication between multiple stakeholders. Numerous information streams are flowing, continually and asynchronously. Critical communication channels include transmission of bedside data to the nurse (vital signs alarms, infusion pump completion), from the patient family to the nurse (questions for the day), from the family to the physician (questions for the day, allow for multiple languages) and from the nurse to the physician (asynchronous communication).
Outcome: Students designed a communication device to streamline updating and educating families in the ICU to improve the health, satisfaction, and patient outcomes.
A Phantom to Validate MRI Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Diagnosing and Monitoring of Patients Multiple Sclerosis
Team: Kirsten Fetah, Bhavna Gopal, Sean Kelly, Keith Kim
Client: Elizabeth A. Pierce, MRI Research Technologist, UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center, San Francisco
Problem: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an essential diagnostic tool in detecting neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Unfortunately, the MRI vendor-supplied phantoms are basic and do not mimic biological processes and structure. Patients can be misdiagnosed resulting in delayed treatment.
Outcome: Students developed a device that mimics biological processes and is used to validate MRI instrument function to improve the accuracy of detecting MS.
Early Detection of Hepatic Encephalopathy in Patients with End-Stage Liver Disease
Team: Dilveen Goraya, Ashish Samaddar, Lauren Song
Client: Danielle Brandman, MD, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco
Problem: Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is one of the complications of end-stage liver disease (ESLD), and is a major contributor to hospitalizations. If the patient or caregiver is aware of worsening HE in the early stages, they may avert an emergency visit or admission with administration of therapeutics.
Outcome: Students designed a device for at-home monitoring of HE in the preclinical stage to reduce the need for hospital-based care associated with ESLD.
Reducing Errant Needle Punctures During PICC Placement for Pediatric Patients
Team: Erika Cruz, Joshua Deng, Vincent Kwan, Hannah Tang
Client: Sunghoon Kim, MD, Division of Pediatric Surgery, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland
Problem: Access to veins and arteries is a central part of medicine, including for placing an intravenous tube (IV). While several ‘vein finder’ tools are available for superficial (near skin) veins, deep veins and arteries are hard to find, especially in pediatric patients. There is a need for a more robust system to find the right vein for peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
Outcome: Students devised a clinical device for real-time, accurate identification of deep veins and arteries that is suitable for use in pediatric PICC placement.
Surgical Instrument Reprocessing in Low Resource Settings
Team: Jovanny Guillen, Tatiana Jansen, Irene Kim
Client: Jared Forrester, MD, Resident in Surgery, General Surgery, & Joe Forrester, MD, Resident in Surgery, General Surgery, Palo Alto
Problem: Post-operative infections cause a tremendous burden of morbidity and mortality, especially in low-resource settings. Risk factors for developing an infection include patient comorbidities, pathogen characteristics, and what specifically occurs to the patient in the operating room and management post-operatively. Using sterile surgical instruments forms the backbone for provision of safe surgery as improperly cleaned instruments can be a vector for pathogens.
Outcome: Students devised a device to clean and sterilize medical tools using locally sourced materials to reduce surgical infections.
A Novel Filter Design to Reduce Side Effects of Chemotherapy in Patients with Hepatic Cellular Carcinoma
Team: Leslie Leung, Adriane Ocampo, Nicholas Tjahjono, Tong Zhang
Client: Steven Hetts, MD, Associate Professor in Residence of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF and Teri Moore, IR Laboratory Manager, UCSF, San Francisco.
Problem: In an emerging area of clinical medicine, endovascular catheter devices are being designed that enable chemotherapy delivery in a targeted manner, reducing patient side effects and improving treatment efficacy. However, some of the drugs enter the bloodstream, causing additional complications. Chemofiltration devices can extract chemotherapeutics from the bloodstream, preventing toxic drugs from leaving the tumor site. While promising, these devices suffer from a host of performance limitations.
Outcome: Students designed a novel filter to promote increased drug binding material interactions in life-saving chemotherapeutic filters.