Free & Near Free Technologies

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

Many of technology transfer hits reach 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 others that don't hit the headlines and might not even be sold in the market place, but they have moved out of the lab to make a positive impact. Innovators are constantly working on the cutting edge of research and practice in their fields, but stepping back and looking for elegant, simple, and possibly even cost-free solutions to common problems requires just as much thought and careful consideration. Below are examples of free or near-free technologies developed by Emory inventors that make the mark.

Aiding Diagnosis and Treatment

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)

C-19 Check: COVID-19 Severity Stratification Tool: Emory doctors and software developers have worked together to help to create an online tool allowing people everywhere to assess how likely it is that they have contracted coronavirus. Known as: C19check.com this is a risk- assessment tool. This website makes it easy for the public to determine if their symptoms are related to the coronavirus. This tool was also implemented to reduce or halt the surge of patients at hospitals or other healthcare facilities. A main benefit of this new technology is the ability to obtain increased screening of potential COVID-19 patients, reduce the burden on healthcare facilities, and reduce unnecessary interactions with individuals. For more information visit ourtechnology brief. (Techid: 20143)

Emory Liver Transplant App: The hardest part of receiving a liver transplant can happen far before you’re ever admitted into a hospital. Far too often, there are dense layers of bureaucracy that have to be crossed before even getting a referral — but for the Emory community, Dr. Joseph Magliocca and Michael Palgon have made it simple with the Emory Liver Transplant App. Healthcare professionals in the Emory system can download an app to their phone and easily and securely submit referrals to Liver Transplant Center physicians, and read relevant biographies and experience for specific staff members. But most importantly, it saves time — time that could be critical for patients in dire need of a transplant. Free iOS and Android versions are available for download in Apple App Store and Google Play marketplace. For more information view our technology brief. (Techid: 16106)

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. (Techid: 13108)

Mobile Applications for PrEP Participants: Emory researchers have developed two mobile applications: PrEP@Home (P@H) and ePrEP (eP@). Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is a technique for individuals who do not have HIV but who are considered high-risk of contracting HIV. This strategy was created with the intention to mitigate the risk of HIV. PrEP may reduce HIV infection by up to 92%, but to attain these results strict adherence is imperative. These two mobile applications were created as tools to help the public. These mobile applications can be used to monitor a patient's PrEP adherence and HIV testing results. Many capabilities of this app go above and beyond; for instance, this app has the capability to deliver push notifications for medication and testing reminders, track at-home test kits shipped to participants’ homes for self-specimen collection, and both of these apps function by enabling telemedicine using a HIPAA compliant video calling service. These mobile applications are free to download currently and part of a clinical research study. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 18069).

PANDORA – Software Toolbox for Electrophysiological Data: The PANDORA software provides an efficient and accurate service of data analysis and management that handles the needs of growing amounts of data in neuronal recordings and computer simulations. PANDORA provides customizable features that allow raw data to be entered into a searchable database by extracting user-defined characteristics. The system can manage, label and query the organized dataset and transform the results into graphical representations. For more information view our technology brief. (Techid: 15182)

ReadyVax: Today, vaccines prevent millions of cases of infectious diseases annually. However, there is a current on-going decline in the vaccination rate. This decline of vaccinations has and continues to contribute to outbreaks of preventable diseases, such as measles. To address this issue, the “Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center” (PERRC) has created a mobile application entitled “ReadyVax” that can be used by pharmacists, healthcare providers, and even the public. This app includes information about a variety of vaccines, diseases, and the diseases that the vaccines prevent. ReadyVax was created by trusted academic experts. The ability to access data and obtain long-term education about the benefits of vaccines is necessary in order to increase vaccination rates and prioritize community safety. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid:17207)

Managing Health

Guide 2 Goals: Treating type 1 diabetes (T1D) is always a team effort — and that goes double for treating it in children. It takes an entire connected network of loved ones, teachers and medical professionals to make sure that every child living with T1D gets to lead a happy, healthy childhood. That’s where the Guide to Goals (G2G) web application comes in. It’s an online, cloud-based, one-stop shop for T1D management. Whether that’s coordinating data entry efforts between clinicians and lab technicians, disseminating questionnaires, or helping patients direct the course of their own therapy with goal-driven programs, it is all made easy with G2G’s user-friendly interface built specifically for monitoring pediatric treatment. For more information, view our technology brief. (Techid: 16054)

The Mindful Eating Coach or Eat-C: Emory researchers have developed a free mobile application to assist people to feel more confident about their eating choices and to help maintain a healthy weight. This app has four tools: “appetite ratings”, “how mindful? ratings”, “lessons”, and “history.” This tool encourages healthy eating habits. Overall, the goal of this app is to help users stop constantly repeating eating decisions that are not "worth it" and diminish guilt about eating choices. More importantly, this app educates users how to pay attention to their hunger and fullness cues. This app focuses on lessons to help users make more mindful choices in the future, rather than criticism or guilt. This app is not designed to treat eating disorders alone. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 19112)

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)

Improving Environments

Citizen Science HD: Free Pollen Nation App: Emory researchers are continuously developing and improving new curricula to further support youth in STEM. They have now created a new free mobile application for K-12 that aims to inspire critical thinking and the scientific process. The “K-12 STEM Citizen Science Program” is administered by the Emory Center for Advancing Health & Diversity through Citizen Science. The Pollen Nation application is an educational tool that can provide the opportunity for students to learn about the environment, conduct an at home science experiment, and electronically quantify their data. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 19126)

Emory University Urban Health Initiative Safety Manual: In order to survive, nonprofits have to stay lean — getting the maximum amount of good out of every dollar and minute is an imperative. That brings up a dilemma when temporary volunteers and students need safety training. Paid personnel will almost always be given that training, but temporary volunteers sometimes won’t — even though it’s absolutely necessary. Inventors at Emory have worked on a comprehensive, fine-tuned safety training manual. Originally developed for training volunteers involved in Emory’s Urban Health Initiative, this manual covers best practices for a variety of organizations, from basic safety to the specifics of incident reporting. It saves time and money without ever cutting corners. For more information view our technology brief. (Techid: 15121)

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. (Techid: 10012)

Survey for Adolescent Bullying and Isolation: There is a diverse array of statistics on cyberbullying available, but academic studies have been lax on rigorously defining and labeling just what exactly the behaviors associated with cyberbullying are. That’s exactly the niche Dr. Taaha Shakir developed SABI, the Survey for Adolescent Bullying and Isolation, to fill. SABI consists of 19 questions that determine key patterns of internet use associated with cyberbullying (types of social media sites used, frequency of use, etc.) while maintaining total anonymity. The survey has already been conducted successfully with over 200 children. For more information view our technology brief. (Techid: 15091)

WASH App: Nowhere is having clean, safe water and sanitary conditions more important than in hospitals. It can be the difference between ending an epidemic or starting one. For some patients, it can be a matter of life and death. Safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) metrics have been developed by public health experts to measure the quality of conditions in healthcare facilities, but professionals in developing nations rarely document or have the tools to measure how sanitary their hospitals are. This mobile app developed by Katharine Robb’s team makes it easy to assess and track water sanitation. The app provides a series of checklists that cover a wide array of relevant questions regarding WASH infrastructure, answered by using a simple traffic light (red, yellow, green) system. It can be filled out in a matter of hours by a single evaluator, and provides comprehensive feedback on strengths and weaknesses after submission. It’s already been used to assess 55 healthcare facilities throughout Zambia to inform further Emory research on designing effective programs to improve WASH conditions. (Techid: 15232)

Assisting Research

Informed Patient: With constant advances in fields like personalized medicine, it’s becoming more and more important that patients not only have a stake in their own health, but a strong understanding of the ways healthcare professionals help them maintain it. That’s the idea behind Informed Patient, a phone app developed by Emory researchers Drs. George Mathew and Neal Bhatia, designed to expose the general public to accurate and accessible information about the latest developments in medical research. With this application, patients won’t just have a better understanding of lifestyle practices and treatment options, but a more confident voice in the examination room and beyond. For more information, view our technology brief. (Techid: 15020)

Myosoft: Automated Muscle Histology Analysis: Emory researchers have helped to develop software that automatically analyzes muscle tissue on a slide, entitled Myosoft. This tool will automatically measure muscle fiber types and sizes from a sample using bio-fluorescence under a microscope. The technology within Myosoft uses an existing machine learning software used by researchers to analyze images. Myosoft is a new and advancing technology that helps researchers accurately diagnose a disease called myopathy. Myopathy is a muscle fibers dysfunction disease. It is typically diagnosed with tests including muscle biopsy samples using histology. The physician then identifies the muscle myopathy manually, which is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone leading to up to 10% of all patient deaths and up to 17% of all hospital complications. Thus, an automated method to accurately detect the morphology of muscle samples is needed to reduce/eliminate the manual diagnostic errors. For more information visit our technology brief. (Techid: 20133)

Real-time, Particle-Tracking and Control Software for Electromagnetic Tweezers: Emory researchers have created a software to control electromagnets, track 3-D particles live, and examine the interactions of small molecular systems (such as DNA, proteins, or other small molecules). Using magnetic tweezers, these devices help to apply a force to the microscopic-scale systems too small for the human eye. Thus, the software to control electromagnetic tweezers can also function to help track particles in real-time in 3-D. This software provides more precision and information for researchers. Visit our technology brief.(Techid: 19136)

Study Management And Retention Toolkit (SMART): A smart acronym with an even smarter function. The Study Management and Retention Toolkit, or SMART, is a centralized management tool designed specifically for tracking multiple aspects of human subject research studies of various designs. Data records and patient information can be input from multiple research sites at the same time and are organized within the system for easy retrieval and export. SMART also tracks subject enrollment in studies, and even automatically sends out reminders for upcoming appointments through text, email and calendar alerts. It’s a one-stop shop for research personnel that keeps things easy, organized and simple. For more information, view our technology brief. (Techid: 17054)