Free & Near Free Technologies

The Other Side of Technology Transfer: Free or Near Free Technology

The success of technology transfer hits the headlines with the success of a new blockbuster drug, lifesaving medical device, or perhaps a ground-breaking diagnostic test for a disease. There are many other, perhaps less glamorous or financially impactful, discoveries that have moved out of the lab to make a positive impact but perhaps in a smaller, more personal way. At Emory OTT we have a group of free or near free technologies that we would like to shine a light on.

Aiding Diagnosis and Treatment

HandyChart: “Read the smallest line you can see” – these are the words spoken during nearly every eye exam. Yet, a problem presents itself if a patient is too young to know the letters or if a language barrier exists. This is where HandyChart, a technology created by a group at Emory including retired Special Education teacher Cindy Lou Herrington, makes life easier. Rather than using letters or shapes, HandyChart consists of a series of drawings of hands that the patient can mimic using his or her own. A group volunteering in Honduras recently used the test to administer eye exams for orphans, allowing a group that may not have had access to eye care before to be able to see what the world can offer. You can purchase on the web here.

Algorithm and Software Application for Diagnosing Adverse Reactions to Blood Transfusion: Although most developed nations have ways to track adverse reactions to blood transfusions, up until recently, the United States did not. However, this all changed with the creation of the CDC’s Hemovigilance model. Thanks to John Roback and Geoffrey Smith’s work in changing the model to a web and mobile app, public health experts are now able to identify viruses in the blood donor pool and other threats to blood supply, saving countless lives. For more information view our technology brief. (Techid: 14022)

iCHOOSE Kidney: For patients with kidney disease, there are two paths forward: dialysis or transplants. Kidney transplants tend to yield more successful outcomes; however, of the 26 million Americans suffering from the disease, only a portion of eligible patients receive information about kidney transplants. Emory’s Dr. Rachel Patzer’s iCHOOSE Kidney app informs providers and patients about their treatment options and possible outcomes. These treatments include basic explanations for patients as well, which include easy-to-understand graphics and charts. For more information view our feature here. (Techid: 13108)

Managing Symptoms

ReliefLink: Sometimes the hardest battles are the ones we fight against ourselves. Enter ReliefLink, the newest suicide prevention mobile app and the winner of The White House’s Suicide Prevention: Continuity of Care and Follow-up App Challenge. Dr. Nadine Kaslow, a psychologist at Emory University School of Medicine, created the app as a way for patients to keep track of resources and find help when they need it. With features like mood trackers, appointment and medication reminders, and a help center map locator, ReliefLink can pave the way to a patient’s wellness and healing. For more information view our technology brief. (Techid: 14006)

WebEase: Medications, sleep, and stress-levels are just a few of the many things patients with epilepsy need to keep track of in addition to managing their other daily responsibilities. With the use of WebEase, some of the burden can be lifted. In addition to medication management tools, WebEase also includes interactive modules, videos from other patients about different treatment options, and other information that patients can read at their own pace, putting some of the control of their disease back in patients’ own hands. For more information view the Epilepsy Foundation link here. (Techid: 08139)

Improving Environments

SORT: A common fear of the medical community is if a pandemic were to strike, emergency rooms would overflow, causing crowds that would not only delay care but also spread disease. This scenario is exactly what SORT, or Strategy for Off Site Rapid Triage, was created to prevent. Designed by a team of Emory researchers and clinicians, the SORT website consists of a series of questions which categorize, or triage, patients as low, intermediate or high risk. Based on this information, patients are advised to stay home, see their doctor, or proceed to the emergency room, thereby preventing a backup of patients at ERs, reducing the spread of contagious disease, and ensuring that everyone receives the care they need. For more information view our feature here. (Techid:10012 )

Understanding and Bettering Patient Experiences

CancerQuest: Cancer is a battle, but the one thing patients shouldn’t have to fight for is their right for information about their health. CancerQuest is a free website that focuses on breaking down complicated processes into simple explanations, collecting information about cancer biology, cancer treatments, patient support, and more all in one convenient place so that when it comes to what is happening to them, patients can have a better understanding and hopefully peace of mind as well. For more information view the Cancer Quest website. (Techid: 03038)

RosaQoL, ItchyQol, and Scalpdex: For patients living with chronic skin conditions like rosacea, a chronic skin disease resulting in redness of the skin, and psoriasis, a condition resulting in increased skin cell growth, symptoms go beyond just the physical and affect patients on an emotional level as well. With this in mind, Dr. Suephy Chen created three Quality of Life (QoL) indexes to measure the effects of these non-curable diseases on patients’ day-to-day life. With information collected from these QoL indexes, doctors can better treat patients and perform further research on the skin diseases’ effects. For more information view our feature here. (Techids: 05067, 06082, 06083)

Preserving Research Integrity

eCOI: An important step in bringing any invention to the public is the investigation, and with the usage of eCOI, or the Electronic Conflict of Interest application, Emory has worked to keep this process running smoothly. The program works by requiring investigators to input any personal financial information that could sway their investigation, such as their own personal investments or stocks. Based on this information if there is any potential conflict, the program generates a suggested step forward, such as a second review of the publication. (This software has been made available outside of the Emory community and is currently used by other universities to protect their research investigations as well.)