Monthly Archives: February 2017

Project Title: Neighborhood Automatic External Defibrillator Network

Cardiospark logoTeam 16068 Members:
Abdulmajid Alsaeed, industrial engineering
Daniel Davis, electrical and computer engineering
Jacob Garlant, biomedical engineering
Nathan Hancock, biomedical engineering
Rohan Mehta, electrical and computer engineering
Susan Nicholls, mechanical engineering (team lead)

Sponsor: CardioSpark

Lifesaving Neighborhood Network

Response time for 911 emergency calls in most urban areas is 8-10 minutes. But that isn’t fast enough for the 350,000 Americans every year experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, more than 90 percent of whom die. If an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, doesn’t arrive in five to eight minutes, it’s too late.

Wall-mounted AEDs are widely available in schools, libraries, airports and other public places. But chances are no one at home, where most cases of sudden cardiac arrest occur, has a defibrillator on hand.

Engineering Design Team 16068 is helping CardioSpark develop a 911-integrated system whereby home-based AEDS can be remotely monitored, tracked and connected. The system will give emergency medical personnel the means to quickly dispatch and support trained neighborhood responders.

Dr. Carter Newton with an automatic external defibrillator.The Tucson-based biotech startup sponsored two teams last year to advance an affordable, hand-held disposable defibrillator. Now the 2016-2017 CardioSpark-sponsored team is developing radio tags – similar to those used for tracking retail store inventory – that will attach to AEDs and enable communication with the 911 computer-assisted dispatch system.

With a widespread community network of AEDs, response time to incidents of sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death for Americans over 40, could be reduced to three minutes or less, said CardioSpark founder and president Carter Newton, a cardiologist and mechanical engineer.

“We’re giving the students a lot of latitude, and we’re getting the very creative input of problem-solving people,” said Newton, whose company is making plans to pilot test the system in a retirement community 20 miles south of Tucson.

Jeffrey Bristol (center) and his mother Herma with Engineering Design Team 16055

Project Title: Unpowered Exoskeleton

Bristol FamilyTeam 16055 Members:
Martin Galaz, biomedical engineering
Jason Keatseangsilp, biomedical engineering (team lead)
Amanda Koiki, biomedical engineering
Joshua Owl, biomedical engineering
Thomas Valenzuela, biomedical engineering
Cole Waldren, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: The Bristol Family

Family on a Mission Partners with Big-Hearted Students

Jeffrey Bristol (center) and his mother Herma with Engineering Design Team 16055Herma Bristol wasn’t sure what to expect in September 2016 when she joined big-name companies like Caterpillar, Honeywell, Microsoft and Raytheon to recruit students during the Engineering Design Program Open House. She came away from the experience quite impressed with the tall stack of resumes from students eager to work on an unpowered exoskeleton for her son Jeffrey.

Still, the Bristols, whose family and friends contributed funds to sponsor the project, were seeking qualities that wouldn’t necessarily show up on resumes.

“We were looking very specifically for people who had heart,” said Herma, adding that her family also has found plenty of know-how in the six students handpicked for team “Lightning Legs.”

Jeffrey, a UA junior studying accounting, suffered two spontaneous brain bleeds when he was a toddler. He recovered fully from the first and has practiced daily for 18 years to regain skills lost after the second.

The team is replacing a rudimentary device Jeffrey has used for physical therapy with a custom apparatus that will enable him – and possibly others who have cerebral palsy – to maintain an upright position while exercising the muscles needed to walk.

Team members have traveled to Phoenix to meet with collaborators at Barrow Neurological Institute and study a powered body suit, or exoskeleton, used to treat patients with similar conditions. They “got to ask a million questions,” said Herma, a UA College of Education alumna.

They are performing much like meticulous tailors, measuring and re-measuring Jeffrey to accomplish a truly custom fit for the wearable exoskeleton that will support the high-achieving student to keep powering through to a career in certified public accounting.