Texas biotech and life sciences students often make headlines for novel medical devices designed to facilitate medical treatment in remote, developing areas throughout the world. Just about a year ago, BioNews Texas reported on how Texas A&M students had developed a pedal-powered mobile refrigeration vehicle for transporting vaccines in developing countries. Now, students at Rice University are following Texas A&M with a new medical device of their own aimed at improving public health in developing countries.
The new device is designed to deliver drugs more effectively to patients in remote areas of the world. Partnering with global health doctors at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Rice engineering students have formed a design team called Chemomatic, and have created a box that effectively regulates the delivery of drugs and saline to patients through syringes. Specifically, the team hopes to target this new device to help patients in Fiji, which is struggling under a heart-disease pandemic.
While the device is still being beta tested, the Rice engineering seniors have already won honors for their device, which was developed for under $400. Earlier, the team placed third in the 2013 University of Minnesota Design of Medical Devices student competition. While awards in competitions have been encouraging, team Chemomatic in anticipating the next step for their device, which will be presented in Fiji for valuation with heart-attack and stroke patients by the team’s mentors from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.