Staying busy with GMI

As the fourth week of classes comes to an end, Houston and Rice are really starting to feel like home. I’ve been trying my best to explore around the area where I’m living and the rest of Houston in any free time I have. However, classes and projects are definitely keeping me very busy.

The main implementation project I am leading is WombOx, a project started by a Capstone Senior Design team last year. Fetoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that takes place while the fetus is still in the womb to treat a variety of conditions. The WombOx device is a fetal pulse oximeter that monitors the blood oxygen level of the fetus during these surgeries. I am working to refine the design of the device and make any improvements that I can, and then secure a manufacturer of the device.

My second implementation project, which I am working on with Jeannette, is called TruVent. It is a system that works with a bag valve mask, which is used to ventilate patients with respiratory failure. It uses sensors to detect air leaks to ensure that the user successfully administers the correct amount of air to the patient. We are working to implement a clinical trial that was designed by GMI students last year.

I’m really excited to be working on both of these projects and to be getting experience with things like working with manufacturers and running clinical trials. This is the first time I am moving past the design and initial testing phase of a medical device design project, so I am looking forward to understanding this portion of the process.

In addition to working on our implementation projects, the team has been hard at work looking for needs in the medical field that we may potentially aim to solve in a design project. We’ve observed electrophysiology and cardiac surgery procedures, and have been searching the internet to learn more about the experiences of patients during different medical procedures. Additionally, Jeannette and I will be travelling with Dr. Richardson to Brazil next week to meet with our collaborators for a project and learn more about the healthcare system and potential needs there.

It’s been a busy four weeks, but that is what I expected from the GMI program! I’m happy to be involved with projects that have the potential to make such a large impact on the medical field and I can’t wait to see everything my team will accomplish this year.

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