The June Makers Meetup has it all: crazy disruptive med-tech (for use even by untrained consumers) - a self-funded David vs. many Goliaths - worldwide public health benefits -artificial intelligence - hometown heroes and, of course, Star Trek.
Ah yes, Star Trek. The original series profoundly changed our world culture ("I'm giving it all she's got, Captain"; "Beam me up, Scotty"; and, perhaps most famously, may you "Live long and prosper").
However, the technologies which Gene Roddenberry imagined have had an even greater impact. The dream of the 'Communicator' has become cellphones. Google has delivered on the idea of a 'Universal Translator'. And now, the 'Tricorder' has arrived to change the planet, 250 years ahead of schedule.
At CES in 2012, Qualcomm (https://www.qualcomm.com/?cmpid=brfyus1714343)and the XPRIZE Foundation (http://www.xprize.org/) launched the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition (http://tricorder.xprize.org/). They challenged the world's creative geniuses to devise a portable, wireless device weighing less than five pounds, that could accurately diagnose 13 health conditions, while monitoring five real-time health vital signs, all in a minimally invasive fashion. But they went even further by insisting that the device work in the hands of a consumer (independent of a professional healthcare worker or facility). In other words, the interpretive expertise of Dr. McCoy would need to be pre-installed inside the re-imagined Tricorder.
On April 12th, after five years of intensive competition from a field of more than 300 teams (including entries with backing from major companies and governments), Qualcomm and XPRIZE announced their winner: Philadelphia's own Final Frontier Medical Devices (newly incorporated as Basil Leaf Technologies (http://www.basilleaftech.com/)).
This small self-funded team, led by engineer-turned ER doctor, Basil Harris (and his brother, George) won the top prize of $2.5 million - with the promise of additional underwriting to follow from Qualcomm and its partners, including The Roddenberry Foundation (http://www.roddenberryfoundation.org/).
The device which Dr. Harris developed is called DxtER. At the heart of the device is a sophisticated diagnostic engine based on analysis of patient data combined with years of experience in clinical emergency medicine. The Final Frontier team developed algorithms for diagnosing 34 health conditions (only half of which were leveraged in the competition). Some of these conditions include: diabetes, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, leukocytosis, pertussis, stroke, tuberculosis and pneumonia.
The heart of the technology is a collection of non-invasive bio-sensors (subject of seven patent applications) combined with advanced AI to interpret the results for the consumer. A boon for public health (and hypochondriacs).
Among other breakthroughs is a mechanism for testing blood, glucose, hemoglobin and white-blood cell count by using a finger cuff (instead of the lancet that can be the bane of a diabetic’s existence). In his kitchen, Harris and the Final Frontier team built the 65 units the competition required for testing -using an assortment of 3-D printers. His teenage children also pitched in.
The target retail price for this potentially lifesaving device is $200. DxtER is now undergoing FDA-required clinical trials.
Reporting on the outcome of the Tricorder XPRIZE competition has been extensive; Meetup members are encouraged to check out the coverage from a variety of news accounts, including CNN (http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/04/15/qualcomm-tricorder-prize-announced-mann-segment-nr.cnn), VentureBeat (https://venturebeat.com/2017/04/22/heres-the-star-trek-tricorder-that-won-the-3-million-qualcomm-xprize/), The Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/seven-member-team-led-by-four-siblings-wins-star-trek-inspired-competition/2017/04/12/a0dcbc94-1fb5-11e7-ad74-3a742a6e93a7_story.html?utm_term=.18ea90e4cbce) and Philly Magazine (http://www.phillymag.com/business/2017/04/13/tricorder-xprize-competition-winner-basil-harris/).
Dr. Harris' hometown team include graduates of Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Thomas Jefferson University. One of the team members is currently an Adjunct Professor at Villanova University (while another formerly taught at Philadelphia University).
The program for Makers Meetup #12 begins at 5:00 with a table-top Showcase featuring DxtER and other great Philly biotech innovators including Biomeme (http://biomeme.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwuZvIBRD-8Z6B2M2Sy68BEiQAtjYS3C2640cIi3pyHVTzbQwpvauYeBsmzusq0OiBqKbe4N8aAux78P8HAQ), wearVTA (https://www.wearvta.com/) and Lightning Packs (http://www.lightningpacks.com/lightningpacks.com/Lightning_Packs,_LLC_%7C_Lightening_your_load,_lighting_your_way.html).
Presentations will start PROMPTLY at 6:15 (earlier than usual).
This evening's program is being co-hosted by the Philadelphia New Technology Meetup (PNTM). The moderator for the conversation with Dr. Harris will be Zack Seward, Editor-in-Chief of Technical.ly (https://technical.ly/).
During the evening, attendees will be given the opportunity to 'shout-out' their networking interests and to opine on how to make Philadelphia a better place for Makers to prosper.
Our major sponsor is Arrow Electronics (https://www.arrow.com/en/products?wm_g_phyloc=9007272&wm_g_intloc=&gclid=CjwKEAjwudW9BRDcrd30kovf8GkSJAB3hTxFcJmWMGvq7IMP8-PPJdgM8ivf3d_BG1_faDW6gTSBEhoCtsHw_wcB&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=arrow+electronics&utm_campaign=us+-+brand+-+core) - underwriting the space and the food. Other regular sponsors include NextFab (http://www.nextfab.com/) and Duane Morris (http://www.duanemorris.com/), while the non-profit Merchants Fund (http://www.merchantsfund.org/) is generously donating its services to administer our finances. (http://www.dvirc.org/)GregoryFCA (http://www.gregoryfca.com/) has donated its services to provide public relations support for this event.
Basil M Harris, MD, PhD, FACEP
Dr. Harris is the founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer for Basil Leaf Technologies.
Basil is a physician with a PhD in engineering. He has been actively practicing emergency medicine for over fifteen years, spending the last twelve at Lankenau Medical Center. For the third time in 2016, Dr. Harris was once again named an ER Top Doctor (http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/December-2016/Top-Doctors-2016/) by Main Line Today.
Despite his daily regimen of chaos in the ER, his engineering training is ever present. Basil’s years at Drexel University (Master of Science) and Cornell (PhD, Materials Engineering) hardwired him to think like an engineer and he is a constant tinkerer. He received his medical training at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Harris has research experience in medicine and engineering with over a dozen publications.
He and his co-founder, George Harris, are brothers who grew up in the Philadelphia region.
Zack Seward, moderator
Zack is Editor-in-Chief of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Seward was the Innovations Reporter at WHYY and NewsWorks.org in Philadelphia. Before that, he worked at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., as a reporter and editor for a statewide public radio reporting project. Seward is an alumnus of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. He's originally from San Francisco and went to college in Chicago.
Organizations that have presented, sponsored or shown at our Meetup to date, include the following:
Annee London (http://www.anneelondon.com/)
Arrow Electronics (https://www.arrow.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAnvfDBRCXrabLl6-6t-0BEiQAW4SRUANMWH2clSGWVkgeQ7a_4CHGFCxSOAJwA8sw-OMTah4aAnwv8P8HAQ)
Baiada Institute (http://drexel.edu/baiada/)
Ballistic Curtain Cordon Systems
Basil Leaf Technologies (http://www.basilleaftech.com/) (Tricorder X-Prize winner)
Bon Bouton by Flextrapower (http://bonbouton.co/index.html)
Bright Idea (http://brightidea.io/)
BucknBear Knives (https://bucknbearknives.com/)
Canary Security Systems (https://canary.is/?gclid=CjwKEAjwsr-6BRCLvrj785rbhTsSJADjUxakQV_cHlKVNtNLAAN_4CWLYxxbYz2sgd1T3C1K6-vWlhoC6_fw_wcB?utm_source=meetcanary&utm_medium=ooh&utm_campaign=summer2015)
Daisy Bluetooth Soil Moisture Probe (http://www.moedae.com/apps/daisy-bluetooth-plant-moisture-sensor)
Dreamit Ventures (http://www.dreamit.com/#meaningful-experience)
Drexel Center for Functional Fabrics (http://drexel.edu/excite/discovery/cff/)
Drexel Hyperloop Team (http://drexelhyperloopteam.com/blog.html)
Duane Morris (http://www.duanemorris.com/)
Dxter (Tricorder) (http://www.basilleaftech.com/)
Hax Hardware Accelerator (https://hax.co/)
Human Augmentation Venture
Lia Diagnostics (http://www.liadiagnostics.com/)
Lightning Packs (http://www.lightningpacks.com/lightningpacks.com/Lightning_Packs,_LLC_%7C_Lightening_your_load,_lighting_your_way.html)
Maker Media (including MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire) (http://makermedia.com/)
MANTA (Multi-purpose Autonomous Navigator & Trash Annihilator)
New American Public Art (http://www.newamericanpublicart.com/)
Noria Air Conditioner (http://www.noriahome.com/)
Orange Maker (http://www.orangemaker.com/)
Rapid Emergency Information (http://www.emergencyinformationsystems.com/)
Roar for Good (http://www.roarforgood.com/)
Singh Center for Nanotechnology (https://www.nano.upenn.edu/)
SOSV Accelerator VC (https://sosv.com/)
SPOR Chargers (http://www.sporchargers.com/#spor-energy)
The Merchants Fund (http://www.merchantsfund.org/)
TIE Philadelphia (http://philadelphia.tie.org/)
Soltech Solutions (http://soltechsolutionsllc.com/)
United by Blue (http://unitedbyblue.com/)
Urban Manufacturing Alliance (http://www.urbanmfg.org/)
VUE Smart Glasses (http://www.enjoyvue.com/)
Wazer Waterjet (https://www.wazer.com/)