2016.04.10  |  Mosher mentors teams at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital Zika Hackathon

Professor Beth Mosher was invited to be a mentor at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital Zika Hackathon, along with officials from the Obama administration, USAID, the CDC, MGH’s Global Disaster Response Team and the Public Health Departments of Jamaica, Panama and Brazil. During the two-day event, Mosher advised hackathon teams on how to use human-centered design and sustainable business strategies to address vector control, data collection and public engagement to combat the spread of the Zika virus.

2016.03.18  |  Rebola leads international design competition

Claudia Rebola has been appointed the chair of the Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disability international design competition. Launched in October 2015, it has the goal of seeking and inspiring talented designers to develop innovative technology-enabled design solutions for the aging population. The competition is organized by the Research Engineering Rehabilitation Center on Technologies to Support Successful Aging with Disability (RERC TechSAge) at Georgia Institute of Technology and is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

When asked about the competition Rebola stated that “This competition is an effective mechanism to bring together awareness and collective design intelligence to address the current needs of our older adults. There is a need to identify excellence in design for aging to educate and encourage communities of interest to solve the unique problems faced by people who are aging with disabilities”.

The first phase of the competition sought submissions from an international audience of students and professionals based in academia and industry in four categories; Health at Home, Social Connectedness, Active Lifestyle, and Community Mobility.

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2016.03.13  |  A graphic novel explores differences in approaching health issues

Paul Karasik recently collaborated with two anthropology professors at Brown University on an idea they had for a graphic novel based on their research. He chose two of his strongest RISD students to work on the project, a story about the difference in health issues and medical care in the US and the Middle East. The project is about halfway complete and the book is slated to be published this fall by University of Toronto Press. A videographer is documenting the process. His first short video about the work is posted above.


2016.03.03  |  Joining a network of healthcare innovators and technologists

Enrique Martínez was recently appointed Fellow at HITLAB (Healthcare, Innovation, Technology), a Columbia University based company committed to helping organizations innovate and measure the impact of new technologies in the healthcare space. With a presence in Asia and Africa and impact in more than 20 countries, HITLAB engages in the development of new ideas and projects to improve health practice, processes, and policy. The company’s network of Fellows and Scholars bring a broad range of expertise and experience to HITLAB’s initiatives, current projects, and future explorations, and contributes to the diffusion of new ideas in healthcare through education, publications, open seminars, and its annual Innovators Summit.


2016.02.25  |  RISD Industrial Design professors and students win Yale Healthcare Hackathon

RISD Industrial Design was well represented at Yale Healthcare Hackathon 2016. Associate Professor Claudia Rebola and her team won the Best Design Prize with the project ‘Your Choice’, an application solution for end of life advance directives. Professor Leslie Fontana and her team won Second Prize and the MIT Hacking Medicine Prize with the project ‘CarryFree’, a backpack with modular components for on-the-go nebulizations.

The Yale Healthcare Hackathon is an international event presented by the Yale Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT) and the Yale-New Haven Health System (YNHHS). This year’s theme was Re-engineering the Patient Experience & Provider Engagement and had over 295 participants in 20 teams. The healthcare hackathon is an event in which people with diverse perspectives such as clinicians, engineers, designers, software developers, business people, problem solvers, and patients come together in one intense, fun-filled three-day weekend to develop solutions that could address challenges facing healthcare today.

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2016.02.10  |  Professor Beth Mosher participates in hackathon to develop low-cost neonatal heart rate monitor

In December, Professor Beth Mosher participated in a 48-hour hackathon at the Possible Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sponsored by Elsevier. Working together with pediatricians Dr. Santorino Data and Dr. Kristian Olson, electrical engineer Jim Wright and mechanical engineer Kevin Cedrone, the team designed and prototyped a neonatal heart monitor for developing countries. The low-cost system provides birth attendants with crucial heart rate information when resuscitating newborns, saving precious time and lives. The team has applied for a provisional patent for their invention, as well as accelerator funding from the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies at the Center for Global Health at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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2016.02.08  |  Cognitive Sciences and Design Thinking

A new Wintersession elective class at RISD has just wound up its first session with a range of independent student works. The Cognitive Sciences and Design Thinking class provides opportunities for students from different majors to discover some of the recent thinking associated with human vision, hearing, sound, touch, haptics and knowledge-building strategies. Devised and led by Christopher Rose MDesRCA (Furniture Design and Architecture), the class featured visiting specialists Thomas Serre, a cognitive neuroscientist of Brown University, and Dr. Kenneth Lambert MD, an orthopedic surgery expert specialising in trauma repair. The class is aimed at supporting critical design thinking at the intersections of embodied cognition, the representation of complex conditions, scientific knowledge and craft practice.

2016.02.01  |  Using Food and Foodways as a Means of Understanding Culture

Jonathan Bishop Highfield has just returned from giving a talk at Kirkwood Community College, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His presentation, titled Using Food and Foodways as a Means of Understanding Culture: A South African Example, looked at how slavery and apartheid laws shaped nutrition and food ways in South Africa, between 1652 and 1994.


2016.01.20  |  Better Hip Protection

Yeadon Space Agency, Prevent Products Inc., and Viemeister Industries have partnered to introduce a new product to the market, better hip protectors featuring a new foam technology that rapidly absorbs impact shock. Peter Yeadon worked directly on the project and provided materials expertise on the new foam, which has now been trademarked as PPI-RAP™. A proprietary, soft-contouring product of nanotechnology, PPI-RAP™ foam instantly dissipates force, absorbing up to 90% of energy at impact (as measured according to ASTM F1614-C). The foam is a smart material that momentarily transitions from soft and pliable to rigidly stiff when it is hit. When this happens, the material firms to form a protective shell that shields and absorbs impact better than other protective foams currently available.

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