A team of students who call themselves “Chemomatic” from Rice University has developed a spring-loaded device called AutoSyP, which is designed to dispense controlled, round-the-clock doses of medications for patients with cardiac conditions.
The device won them third place in the 2013 University of Minnesota Design of Medical Devices student competition earlier this month, and caught the attention of their mentors from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Their device was brought to Fiji, where heart attack mortality rates are five to eight times that of the United States, for testing.
Dr. Rohith Malya, director of the Division of Global Health at UT Health, came to Rebecca Richards-Kortum, director of the Rice 360˚ Institute for Global Health Technologies, and Maria Oden, director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen regarding the cardiac disease pandemic in Fiji. From this, the Chemomatic team was formed.
According to Rice news:
Rice students Glenn Fiedler, Peter Jung, Lemuel Soh and Kevin Jackson designed their device to run for 24 hours using very little battery power as it delivers a measured dose of drugs or saline to a patient more accurately than an IV drip would. Though it can help treat patients with many needs, the first are likely to be cardiac patients like those under the care of Malya and stroke patients of Dr. Amy Noland, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UTHealth who also works with the team.
With the AutoSyp device, the team aims to make the round-the-clock pharmacologic management of cardiac disease more affordable and portable, as well as accurate. Dr. Malya hopes to deliver more device prototypes to Fiji for testing within the next three months.