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Grantee Spotlight

EMF funds have launched the careers of many of the most respected and published researchers in emergency medicine. Many grantees go on to receive NIH and other large-scale funding projects as a result of EMF’s investment in their work.

Tiny Microchip for the Big Win!

Inspired by the smart technology of a hand-held game controller, Dr. Joshua Broder of Duke University walked away the ultimate winner in the inaugural Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Research Challenge offered by EMF and GE Healthcare (GE).

In a first-of-its-kind research partnership, EMF and GE launched the POCUS research challenge designed to push the boundaries of ultrasound technology. More than 80 applications were received from across the globe and four finalists were selected by a review committee of emergency research physicians from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Each was awarded $50,000 for their projects and given the opportunity to compete for an additional $150,000 through a social media campaign targeting the emergency medicine community. While promoting their projects online, finalists also presented their research concepts at ACEP’s Scientific Assembly, each vying for votes from their peers.

In the end, Dr. Broder’s project edged past the competition to win the popular vote and the additional funding. An emergency physician at Duke University, Broder uses a fingernail-sized microchip, mass produced by the millions for cell phones, to translate 2D ultrasound machines into 3D imaging devices. Broder’s goal was to “create a cost-effective solution that is convenient to the point of care.” The chip is snapped onto the ultrasound probe to create 3D images. Broder says, “We took existing technology and made it better at a very low cost. We are spectacularly excited about this grant because the fruits of our imagination will become a reality.”

According to Paul Mullens, General Manager for Point of Care Ultrasound at GE Healthcare, “GE is shifting the focus of our innovation so that caregivers can shift the focus of theirs. I’m convinced that if we can take what is hard or tedious in POCUS examinations and automate it, then caregivers can shift their focus from image acquisition protocols, freeing their brain space for clinical reasoning.”

EMF Chair Dr. Hans House voiced his enthusiasm for the winners, saying, “This project has significantly advanced point of care ultrasound use in the ED by stimulating the creativity of some of the most dynamic and inventive emergency physicians working today.” House called the GE partnership a win-win, combining research, technology and innovation.