The Army awards follow-on contract for autonomous airway management to Energid Technologies

Cambridge 10 December 2009The United States Army, through the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), has awarded Energid Technologies a contract to develop a robotic approach to airway management. After trauma or injury, airway management typically involves clearing a patient's airway and inserting a tube to maintain oxygen flow in preparation for further treatment. This process, endotracheal intubation, is critical as the loss of proper air circulation is fatal.

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Energid will develop a handheld lightweight robotic system that can perform endotracheal intubation on the battlefield. Energid's approach uses a novel flexible tube manipulator that quickly and safely deploys inside a patient's airway. The mechanism integrates force feedback and video-tracking for real-time active motion compensation and control. It also provides needed feedback to the operator for correct intubation and active liquid clearance.

"The device we are developing works through unique technology we have developed for actuating flexible mechanisms", stated Dr. Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado, the Principal Investigator for the project. "With Energid's technology, the device can be effective and lightweight."

Energid is applying its commercial Actin robot control and simulation toolkit and its Selectin machine vision toolkit to support control of the innovative hardware used in the device. Advanced control will protect injured patients from the current risks of airway management.

"This technology would be helpful to newly-trained first responders that are deployed with a unit because they don't have the help of others or years of experience to fall back on", stated Ms. Nita Grimsley, the project's contracting officer's representative at TATRC. "The nuances of endotracheal intubation can be difficult to perform under pressure, therefore a 'tool' that can assist the provider in re-establishing an airway without injuring the vocal cords would be beneficial."

The United States Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center has played a prominent role in developing advanced technologies in health informatics; medical imaging; mobile computing and remote monitoring; and simulation and training. TATRC has been exploring and implementing telemedicine and other advanced medical technology solutions for over 15 years, and it continues to be an important thought leader in areas such as the use of virtual reality tools, biomaterials and hospital-of-the-future concepts.

Energid Technologies develops tools for robotic applications in the aerospace, agriculture, transportation, defense, and medical industries. Energid's Actin and Selectin products provide advanced robotics technology in the form of extendable software toolkits. Energid specializes in the sensing, control, and simulation of complex systems. More company news is available in the VMW June 2006 article Sunnylife Global signs LOI with Energid Technologies in Cambridge to provide VR-based medical training systems to Sunnylife's China hospitals.


Source: Energid Technologies

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