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Weekly Update

posted Oct 21, 2012, 3:01 PM by Dmitri Boulanov   [ updated Jun 16, 2013, 3:36 PM ]
This update is coming in a few days later than usual, as I have been a bit swamped at work (at training all week) and Amr's been busy with midterms at BU as of recent:

0) We'd like to announce three new members on our project. Tunde Agboola, Harvard University - Computer Science, stepped onto the team as a back-end and app development consultant. Adam Kran, Brown University - Civil Engineering, stepped onto the team as a tech consultant, helping us with the vision and some of the engineering efforts for the project, as well as ideas. Dimitry Kudryavtsev, Senior Software Engineer, stepped onto our team as a software engineer and idea guy, helping us with our initial Android prototype (front - end for both the caregiver and patient). We look forward to working with each and every one of these guys! We're also in talks with some medical students at Tufts University Medical School to help us as consultants on the project - will update more as these talks develop.

1) Updated my device to a Samsung Galaxy SIII, with Android 4.0 (Ice-Cream Sandwich) and was able to compile the latest version of the Node app on it. Successfully hooked up the device to the phone, including the thermometer function. Tested it out while out with a few folk at a restaurant and was able to find a temperature difference between one of the people and the rest, even though the infrared thermometer readings were off a bit (a few degrees F), one could see that one person had low temperature and thus some medical issues at those points on the body.

2) Got a chance to sit down with Joanne Parsons, the CEO of Youville House, an assisted living community in Cambridge, MA, as well as the Wellness Director for the community, to discuss our project and how we could potentially be helpful to the population their company serves. We found a number of problems with applying our idea to this population - learned a ton! The fact that some folk wouldn't be able to use a smartphone, the fact that GPS/location functions pose a privacy issue, the issues with a fall-detection unit (people don't want to or very often forget to wear such a unit). However, I learned about a number of opportunities in the space - fall-detection and knowledge of a person's presence / awareness is one of them, which we sketeched out a solution to - one that could use smartphones as sensors. However, in the short-term, it seems that our next step is to interview folk that work at nursing homes and hospitals to see if they could use such sensors / this system, as the assisted living home staff is not willing to take body measurements because of the risk that entails in the responsibility that comes with this (hospital or professional medical staff / caregivers are said to come in to the home to do this for the staff).

3) Demo'ed the Node and the TripNotify (fall detection app) to a medical professional, who liked the idea and discussed some of the HIPAA implications with me. He suggested that we look into a peak flow meter (a spirometer) as one additional measurement device that we could add into the mix of supported devices for the system. A very interested idea, with lots of potential indeed - one to be discussed more at a later point.

3) We received the EKG prototype this weekend. Can't detail any of the specifications / description on here due to the proprietary nature of the thing, but looking forward to developing for it this week.

4) Looking to pitch our idea at the Boston University's School of Management 60 Second Pitch contest this coming Friday. We've got a summary for the idea - just need to practice a bit and hope it goes well. Looking to make a few connections, in the hopes of finding a business mentor, some health-IT related expertise, and other idea-generators.

5) We're looking to wrap up our application for the Development Round 1 of the Mozilla Ignite competition this week. The deadline is Thursday and we're looking to have a draft complete by tomorrow night, with editing taking place Tuesday and Wednesday evenings after work. I had a few revelations / more concrete thoughts for the systems as of the beginning of the week, so looking to incorporate those into the application.

6) Dimitry brought the idea of using Storm as the framework for real-time processing (distributed) of streaming data. We hope to use this along with Encog for back-end analytics. Some real cool stuff - but won't be integrated into our prototype system until the next round.

7) Came across a couple of relevant ecosystem and system review articles, which I will post in the next post shortly.