Designing with Holograms

Advancements in technology have transcended the limits of discovery and innovation in the world of modern healthcare, not only in terms of scientific discovery but also in the way hospitals do business. Physician and hospital personnel have incorporated technology into their everyday routine by switching over to electronic medical records and scheduling. We are living longer, finding cures to the so-called “incurable” and designing new and improved techniques to teach the next generation of doctors because of these recent developments.

One of the latest technological advancements that may change the way we design healthcare space is the partnership between global medical technology company, Stryker and Microsoft. The two companies have teamed up to create a new method of designing operating rooms. Using Microsoft HoloLens and Stryker software, hospitals can better visualize plans for their new operating room with 3D holograms. No more need to push and move around expensive and heavy equipment to see the design of the room. With the HoloLens you can move and shape the equipment with the pinch of two fingers to create an operating room that satisfies the needs of all departments.

In addition to making healthcare architecture more efficient, Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic have been using it to teach the next generation of physicians human anatomy in completely new ways. Students can see human anatomy layer by layer by isolating specific systems and organs. For example, students are able to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of a heart before ever opening a human chest. We are excited about the Stryker and Microsoft HoloLens technology and the possibilities it creates for medical teaching and scientific discovery.

For more information on this promising new technology click here.

Design Review in VR

Elliot Hospital team members review proposed design for new Urgent Care center.

As the dust settles from the recent explosion in Virtual Reality [VR] technology, one thing is becoming clear: it is changing the way we interact with the digital environment. Up until recently, developments in CAD and BIM technologies, as impressive as they are, had been stymied by the limitations of computer monitors and print media. The arrival of VR headset technology breaks through the traditional limitations of the screen and puts people “in” the design to experience, evaluate and comment from a first-person perspective. Over the past few years, we at E4H have been exploring ways of incorporating VR in the design review process, starting in the office and then bringing it to our clients.

At the Office

One of the most important things an architect can do is open their work up to their peers for review and commentary. This has historically been by pinning up work on the wall or showing things on a monitor, but lately we have been incorporating VR into these informal design review meetings in the office. One of our team rooms in the Boston office doubles as VR Lab, with furniture moved to the side to create an open space for walking around the virtual model without bumping into physical objects that can’t be seen with the VR goggles on. Team members can give feedback based on what they are seeing, including the “feeling” of the room using the true-to-scale nature of the software. Using IrisVr’s Prospect software, we can cycle through preset locations for doing multi-room reviews, add markups to the model, draw in space, and take snapshots for sharing these notes with others later

These VR design reviews also help to eliminate the distance between our offices and allows the opportunity to get feedback from our diverse group of designers across the country. Using our high speed network and multiple VR headsets, teams in Texas can review a project in New York and share comments based on their own recent work.

With Our Clients

In addition to reviewing the our work as a team, we also conduct VR design reviews during typical meetings with our clients. We recently used this during a final design development review at Elliot Hospital, with multiple users from different departments. We gathered feedback on equipment locations, casework configurations, outlet quantities and furniture arrangement. The perspective from the goggles is duplicated on via projection for everyone else to follow along and continue to offer feedback. Once the group gets past the initials fears or hesitancy to try them out, they often forget they are still sitting in a conference room. The technology has been a great facilitator of discussion with users of all kinds including doctors, nurses, administrators, facilities staff and more.

Find out more about our VR capabilities.

The Future of the Medical Office?

Located in downtown San Francisco, Forward is an interesting new model for healthcare delivery. It is a meld between an Apple store, a high-end medical office, and a chic members-only health club.We learned about Forward, and its cutting edge delivery model by way of TechCrunch.

The idea of incorporating technology to make healthcare more accessible to the masses has been a growing trend. Health-insurer and insurance-technology startups raised more than $1.2 billion in venture funding in 2015. For perspective, that’s more than double the $570 million raised in 2014, and 10 times the $123 million raised in 2013, according to CB Insights, a data company that tracks private startups and venture capital. With venture capital dollars pouring into the healthcare industry, many predict tech-heavy healthcare delivery models will gain more traction (and market share) in upcoming years.

Is this the future of healthcare? We are excited to see where it goes…

Cancer Death Rates Fall

cancer-ribbons

E4H was elated to read the number of deaths from cancer in the United States have dropped 25 percent since hitting a peak in 1991. The report, issued by the American Cancer Society, hit home for a lot of us.

This drop means that 2.1 million fewer people died from cancer between 1991 and 2014 than would have died if cancer death rates had remained at their 1991 level, the researchers said. As mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children, we appreciate what a big deal this is for families across the world.

The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer’s deadly toll,” Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said in a statement. “Continuing that success will require more clinical and basic research to improve early detection and treatment, as well as strategies to increase healthy behaviors nationwide.”

We are proud of our work with both healthcare providers and researchers who work to fight the many forms of this disease.

This story was originally reported in LiveScience

 

Tracking Cancer

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New research out in American Chemical Society (ACS) Nano suggests the approach to tracking cancers may be on the verge of revolution. Liposomes, tiny fatty envelopes, are often used to package anti-cancer drugs as they tend to congregate around loosely bound tumor cells as a matter of biophysics.

Rafael de Rosales of King’s College, London, and Alberto Gabizon of the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre in Jerusalem have treated mice with liposomes doped with radioactive metal ions and shown the special liposomes congregate around an animals’ tumor. What is special about this finding is that these supped up liposomes are visible by positron-emission tomogoraphy (PET) scanning and therefore assist physicians in following the course of drugs.

This new discovery has the potential to assist physicians in better understanding how to target cancers with missile like efficiency. The Economist published an article on this research originally published by ACS Nano.

We are excited by the progress being made in laboratories around the world to fight cancer. We feel privileged to be able to support institutions in making such remarkable strides in life sciences.

New Bone Regeneration Study

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The Shah Tissue Engineering and Additive Manufacturing (TEAM) Lab recently published an article in Science Translational Medicine describing their breakthrough in bone regeneration engineering.

Shah’s lab bioengineered a new hyperelastic “bone” material that is cheap, versatile and easy to print. This invention has the potential to revolutionize the repair or regeneration of bones.

Interestingly, when TEAM placed human bone marrow stem cells on a sample of hyperelastic “bone,” its presence was enough to stimulate them to mature into bone cells. The new material served as a scaffold for the cells to form their own natural materials.

Popular Science originally reported on this breakthrough. In the article they quote coauthor Ramille Shah of Northwestern University,“I think ideally it would be great if we could have these printers in a hospital setting where we can provide them the hyperelastic ‘bone’ ink and then they can then make patient specific implants that day—within 24 hours,” Shah said.

This new material has tremendous potential to revolutionize the way bone injuries are treated in the future. We are excited by the thoughtful and applicable research coming out of higher education.

 

Forbes report on Healthcare and Technology

http://www.forbes.com/healthcare-2025/#40f986664f30
http://www.forbes.com/healthcare-2025/#40f986664f30

Forbes recently published a report on how technology is revolutionizing the healthcare industry. It looks at three categories: Consumers and technology, Funding and Finance and Active Lifestyles.

The report references a StartUp Health Insights report that stated digital heath companies received a record $1.8 billion dollars in funding in the first quarter of 2016 – That is a 450% increase over the first quarter of 2011.

With increasing availability of new smart tools (fitbits, smart refrigerators, etc.) and new digital platforms to make healthcare more available (Doctor on Demand, GetHeal, etc.), we are excited to see how technology will continue to transform the health landscape.

Virtual Reality and Architecture

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We are excited to announce E4H Healthcare Architect Mike Bennett, AIA, EDAC will be speaking at the 2016 New England Healthcare Engineers’ Society Fall Conference in Whitefield, NH!  He has teamed up with Ailyn Mendoza, Director of Architecture at Iris VR for a presentation titled, “Virtual Reality and the Design of Healthcare Environments.”

Bennett has used Virtual Reality (VR) during project delivery and is excited about its many applications in design and construction. He has found it has tremendous impact on client communications – clients no longer have to decipher complex plans or ‘try to imagine’ a space because they can actually visualize the 3D environment through VR.

The NEHES session seeks to provide a solid foundation for understanding of VR and will explore the various ways healthcare professionals and design teams can use VR during project delivery. The session will also connect attendees with real-world examples of the many applications of VR as demonstrated through a series of case studies.

Here is a quick video demonstrating the neat ways IrisVR is bringing virtual reality into architecture.

Imaging Technology

In Bore_Press 2Technology is getting smarter. It is helping professionals all over the world do their job faster and better – and doctors are no exception. From new equipment to cloud-based medical records to telemedicine, technology is changing the way physicians provide care.

Israeli based start up Zebra Medical Vision is seeking to revolutionize the way radiologists work. Zebra is developing imaging analytics software to read and diagnose medical imaging data. Pulling from hundreds of thousands of cases, the software platform uses big data to construct predictive algorithms which may be used to inform clinical decision making. Current algorithms exist in the fields of bone health, cardiovascular analysis, and liver and lung indications. These algorithms have been applied in the clinical field to provide health and risk management insights to patients and providers.

Zebra, founded in 2014, recently announced an additional financing round of $12 million led by Salt Lake City based InterMountain Healthcare. InterMountain is a not-for-profit health system thought to be one of the top performing integrated care providers in the United States.

E4H is excited about the Zebra’s imaging analytics technology and its potential for clinical adaptation through collaboration with InterMountain Healthcare’s service providers. Technology is changing the way healthcare is provided and, consequently, the way healthcare spaces must be designed. Our appreciation for cutting edge imaging research and technology was fostered during the design of a state-of-the-art MRI suite at Beverly Hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts.