Biomedical Engineering Student Team annual showcase

BEST showcase, May 29, 2017. Credit: Clare Kiernan

On Monday, May 29, 2017 the UBC Biomedical Engineering Student Team (BEST) hosted its annual showcase to feature a number of the innovative solutions that its members have been developing. Medical professionals, UBC faculty, biomedical industry professionals and students were in attendance.

BEST is an extracurricular, undergraduate student team comprised of 80 members across six UBC faculties. The team aims to use a context-appropriate approach to address medical challenges worldwide. Another goal of the team is to develop its members technically and professionally. Recently, the team has developed a mentorship program which aims to bring first and second year engineering students onto the team to be mentored by a more senior student, in addition to attending technical and professional skills workshops. These workshops are designed to prepare the students for technical roles on the team, and help first year students decide which type of engineering they would like to pursue.

Over the past year, two previous projects were successfully closed:

Infectious Disease Emergency Aid Electronic Medical Record System (IDEA-EMR): This team has successfully passed of their first iteration of a trauma registry app to a Canadian NGO called ICChange. ICChange is developing the second iteration of the app for iOS and Android, and plans to implement the app in trauma centers in East Africa in the next 2-3 months. The app focuses on replacing a manual paper version of a trauma registry, and collects data so that healthcare administrators can introduce data-driven policy and plans.

Phone Holder Project This project focused on developing a customizable phone holder that interfaces with a microscope to aid researchers at Mulago Hosptial, Uganda, in their efforts to diagnose malaria via mobile phone examination of blood smears. The team has successfully passed off a design that can be 3D printed in Uganda that is robust and easy to operate.

In addition to the two passed off projects, BEST continues to work on 4 new/ongoing projects:

Music to Movement: The Music to Movement team is developing a musical therapy device to aid in stroke rehabilitation. They have designed three devices: tap, squeeze and spin, that address motions associated with rehabilitation, all of which provide physical, visual, and musical feedback. These devices are integrated together and can be directed by a musical therapist to prescribe exercises and monitor progress. The team will be conducting a trial in the next year to validate their design.

Femur Fracture Treatment Project: This team is working on addressing the need for a more effective and efficient treatment for femur fractures in low income countries (LIC). The device performs traction on the femur in a new way that is more advanced, effective, and applicable to low resource settings. This will provide improved patient outcomes, increased patient mobility and reduced in-hospital treatment time and cost.

Respiratory Rate Monitor: This team is developing a device to aid in vital sign monitoring in paediatric wards to alert a medical professional if a patient has stopped breathing. They are currently working on a prototype that uses an accelerometer to monitor chest wall movement due to respiration. Vital sign monitors are rare in LICs and simple respiratory monitoring is a critical way to provide more patient information.

Medical Innovation in NeuroTechnology:  This is a new team is working on participating in the emerging neurotechnology industry. They aim to bridge clinical and social aspects of neuroscience by accessibly reproducing and innovating upon existing experiments and technology. Currently, they are running a case study on EEG methods of ADHD diagnostics, and designing an EEG system for the NeurotechX student competition.

More information about the team can be found on their website.

Showcase photos can be found here.