Hackathon Ring Leader team pumps innovation from the heart

From left Dr. Rajat Gupta, Dr. Adam Powell, Anwar Hussain, Vivek Sivathanu and Viqar Hussain. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
From left Dr. Rajat Gupta, Dr. Adam Powell, Anwar Hussain, Vivek Sivathanu and Viqar Hussain. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Doctors from Brigham and Women’s Hospital teamed up with engineers from the MIT Media Lab last month at the hospital’s inaugural iHub Hackathon to try and solve a pressing medical problem facing heart patients.

About 100 clinicians, scientists and programmers pitched projects to a panel of judges in the hope of getting funding for further development.

Within 48 hours, the winning team, “Ring Leader,” came up with a prototype for a wearable ring that can transmit a patient’s heart rate from their body to an app. A physician can then remotely review electrocardiogram – also known as EKG – readings and other relevant clinical metrics.

The team used a 3D printer to create the device, which is meant to be worn on a finger.

The standard of care for heart disease, which is a leading cause of death worldwide, is currently for doctors to order expensive stress tests to assess a patient’s risk for a repeat heart attack. Creators believe the ring would gather accurate data in a convenient and cost-effective way.

“Often times I find I don’t need to order (the stress test), but we order it because we have no way of monitoring patients at home,” said Dr. Rajat Gupta, Brigham and Women’s cardiologist and Ring Leader member. “It would be better if we could continuously collect this data, encourage patients to understand the importance of activity, and save them the expensive trip to the hospital.”

As humans continue to evolve with smart phones in hand, it’s obvious that wearable devices are an innovative and easy way to access and share information. Last month, Metro Boston reported on the Sesame Ring, a wearable device created by MIT students that allows users to access the MBTA.

The rising popularity of wearable technology can be attributed to advances in battery and computer technology, which have made it more feasible, according to Dr. Adam Powell, a healthcare economist and a member of Ring Leader.

“Never before in human history has it been common for people to walk around carrying a computer, a power source, and a combination of short-range and long-range radios (like smartphones),” said Powell. “However, I believe that mHealth devices which require minimal user intervention and which do not require long-term adherence will be the most successful. It’s far more realistic to assume that a person will be temporarily willing to wear a device than it is to assume that a person will be willing to wear one indefinitely.”

The group is planning to work on a few more prototypes before seeking regulatory approval.

“We’d want it to be perfect before we unveiled it,” said Gupta.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

The Boston Marathon: Step by step, the race…

For over a century, the Boston Marathon has been an event centered around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there’s no denying the face of the renowned race has been changed…

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.