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Inside the Lab Digital and computational pathology, Point of care testing, Clinical care, Technology and innovation

Team Aezon

Team Aezon

Team Aezon was founded when its leader, Tatiana Rypinski, noticed that technology’s healthcare potential wasn’t being fully explored. “Today we use technology to check the news, the weather, our emails, Facebook, our texts and our tweets. Yet with this wealth of information-gathering ability, we don’t check our bodies.” Resources are stretched thin for medical providers around the globe – so if clinic and hospital systems are overloaded, it’s time for patients to start taking charge of their own health. That’s why Rypinski decided to use the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE competition to extend healthcare’s reach. “I was excited to have the opportunity to work on an intricate and futuristic project with the potential to have a great impact on the delivery and accessibility of healthcare,” she says, highlighting her team’s desire to make good health something everyone can have – even if they can’t easily get to a doctor.

One thing that sets Aezon apart from the other XPRIZE contenders is that the team’s members are all full-time students. Rypinski, whose background is in robotics and prosthetic design, is in the biomedical engineering program at Johns Hopkins University. Her teammates come from a variety of academic programs at Johns Hopkins, which enables each aspect of the tricorder project to have its own specialized sub-team consisting of students with relevant skill sets. But the groups don’t stay separate – once a week, all of the sub-teams come together for “integration meetings” that allow them to pick one another’s brains for troubleshooting. “The multidisciplinary team is a huge advantage,” Rypinski explains, “because someone with a different skill set or academic background often sees an innovative way to solve another sub-team’s problem.”

Aezon’s blessing is also its curse, though; as university students they have limited time and financial resources to bring great ideas to life. Though they’re partnered with several companies experienced in delivering mobile biomedical solutions, in the end, it’s up to team Aezon to balance the financial and time pressures of full-time education and participation in such a high-profile competition. Even with this unique added challenge, Rypinski and her colleagues remain optimistic. “It can be an advantage,” she says, “because our constraints force us to operate strategically and creatively.” Between the team’s experience in bioengineering and its members’ can-do attitude, developing a tricorder may only be the start of their career in healthcare innovation.

Team DMI

Team SCANADU/Intelesens

Team CLOUD DX

Team Dynamical Biomarkers Group

Team Danvantri

Team SCANurse

Team Final Frontier Medical Devices

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About the Author
Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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