Great things have been happening at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center. We have a number of new companies occupying space in the building with many more going through the application process. I’d like to highlight some of those companies now residing in the Innovation Center.
The first company to reside in the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center is on the verge of selling its product, a hand-held “dosage calculator,” to hospitals across the nation. InformMed has signed a contract with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for a pilot program and will begin marketing nationally towards the end of 2008. Peoria native, registered nurse and current company vice president, Kathy Francis, developed the technology to address the problem of incorrect medication dosage at the point of care. The device, called the pac2, is part of a hospital-wide system InformMed has developed. OSF Saint Francis will be the first hospital to implement the system, but many others have already shown interest. See page 44 for more on InformMed.
ORQA Online Radiology Quality Assurance
The healthcare industry has made great advances over the years by adopting new technologies that streamline workflow and manage records electronically. However, even a facility as advanced as a hospital can be slowed down by the occasional paper report. ORQA, or Online Radiology Quality Assurance, is using advanced Web 2.0 software that allows diagnostic imaging departments to report quality control issues through an online interface that can be searched and analyzed for maximum efficiency. With electronic patient records and filmless imaging systems in place at medical facilities across the country there is no reason to let paper reports slow down the system.
With the very real threat of food-borne pathogens, one Peoria NEXT company is developing a device that will allow users to detect such threats without the use of laboratory screening. Ag-Defense Systems is working on a hand-held technology that will allow users the ability to monitor food items on site and receive real-time results. The portable BioSage device can be used to detect viruses, fungus, bacteria and parasites within minutes while employing GPS tracking abilities. The food industry is a $1.25 trillion market in the U.S., and there are over 75 million illnesses a year as a result of food contamination. As the threat of food supply contamination grows, Ag-Defense Systems and its BioSage technology will be ready to monitor and alert us in real-time.
The bulky and intrusive wires that have been a mainstay of cardiovascular care may soon be no more. Endotronix has begun development on minimally invasive wireless monitoring devices that can transmit from within a patient’s body. These devices, which use a combination of radiofrequency identification (RFID) and microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology, will monitor a patient’s cardiovascular health from within his/her heart and blood vessels. The system allows for real-time monitoring of patient health, not only in the medical care facility, but also at home, reducing treatment costs associated with prolonged hospital stays. There is the potential for this technology to benefit over 60 million people in the U.S. who have risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases. IBI