For people with diabetes, injecting the right amount of insulin is vital. But how do you adjust the insulin pen if you are blind or visually impaired? A group of Clinical Technology (KTO) students from TU Delft and Erasmus MC developed a reading aid that allows blind and visually impaired people to safely adjust their insulin pen. They won one of the two Medical Delta KTO-WOW! Awards.
The other award went to a group of students who developed a software tool for the visual reporting of spots with skin disorders, such as skin cancer. They received the award at the annual KTO symposium, in which graduating clinical technologists presented their undergraduate thesis research. The Clinical Technology program is taught in Medical Delta by TU Delft, LUMC and Erasmus MC.
The reading aid that the KTO students developed consists of a flower-shaped disc that provides both haptic and auditory feedback. This allows the blind and visually impaired to safely set their insulin pen. The idea for this feedback combination arose from the conclusions of a review by the students. Auditory feedback is more effective and faster, but the target group itself prefers haptic feedback. The final design was tested by blindfolded students, without outside assistance, resulting in a maximum error of only one insulin unit.
Visual reporting for pattern recognition in skin cancer
To ensure proper treatment of skin cancer, it is crucial to be able to recognize patterns over time. At what points did new spots appear, what did they look like and what were the laboratory results over time? Since spots occur at different locations on the body and different types of information are relevant, the dermatologist needs a clear overview. It is difficult to obtain such an overview from a standard patient file.
To create this overview, KTO students from LUMC and Erasmus MC developed a software tool for the visual reporting of skin disease spots. Their app, called 3Derma, consists of a 3D representation of the human body, in which doctors can report on all available information, linked to the location of the spot in question. This allows them to better monitor skin cancer.
In between the student presentations and the Award ceremony, innovation manager Lian van Amerongen invited the company Rollz on behalf of Medical Delta to share their experiences on bringing a care technology innovation to the market. Rollz produces smart rollators and recently received a voucher from the innovation program ZorgTech to speed up the development process. Richard Zwart told about the long road from prototype to practice, during which a lot of work was also done by students. Zwart called on the students present to contribute to Rollz, for example in a master's project.
This year's graduates also often presented practical care technology solutions to the audience. For example, a group of students took the first step towards developing a user interface for home monitoring during pregnancy. This allows data to be objectively fed back to the care staff and can support them in making decisions.
Another group of students developed an interface for balance disorders in children. In order to diagnose such a disorder as early as possible, there is a test that requires children to lie still for 30 seconds with their necks tightened in a very specific position. This proves very difficult in practice. These students developed a biofeedback tool in game form, in which a fish swims from left to right in 30 seconds and, depending on the patient's neck tension, swims higher or lower. In doing so, children must try to keep the fish in the sea and prevent the fish from getting airborne (too much muscle tension) or into the plants (too little muscle tension). The test results on fellow students, three children and even a volunteer in the room during the presentation were promising.
This year 83 students graduated from the undergraduate Clinical Technology program.