A Medical Device Daily

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI; Worcester, Massachusetts) said two of its research programs will each receive $1 million through a U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations Bill for two areas of biomedical research.

The allocations will go to two centers within the university’s Bioengineering Institute: the Center for Untethered Healthcare , developing an integrated system of medical sensors, portable ultrasound scanners and wireless technology to provide better medical care for injured soldiers in the field; and the newly founded Center for Neuroprosthetics and BioMEMS , developing technology for control of prosthetic limbs and organs to be controlled by the brain.

Center researchers are developing four specific technologies: wireless, intelligent physiological sensors that can monitor vital signs of soldiers and alert medics and field commanders when problems arise; ad hoc wireless networks that will permit sensor data and ultrasound images to be transmitted, “securely and reliably” in the environment of the urban battleground; a handheld microfluidic blood analyzer that can measure and analyze the levels of important blood constituents to help in the diagnosis of trauma, injury, or illness; and wearable ultrasound technology that enables a medic or physician to bring the ultrasound scanner to the patient, rather than transporting the patient to a hospital or clinic to be scanned.

“With this new federal funding, WPI will have even greater opportunity to contribute leadership and new knowledge to such vital areas of bioengineering and biomedical research,” said Dennis Berkey, president of WPI.

WPI’s appropriation was part of a U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations Bill that included $12.3 million in spending to improve national security for the 3rd Congressional District.

WPI offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences and the humanities and arts.

In other contract news:

ExactCost (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) has become a contract supplier to Premier (Charlotte, North Carolina). ExactCost’s Performance Management solutions will become part of the Premier catalog and will be made available to member hospitals within the Premier healthcare alliance network.

ExactCost says its solutions are designed to enable healthcare enterprises to meet business objectives through technology that delivers activity-based cost and performance management. Premier says it helps hospitals accelerate performance on both clinical outcomes and supply chain costs.

Premier is an alliance owned by more than 200 not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare systems. ExactCost defines its goal as leading the “financial transformation of the healthcare industry” and becoming “the gold standard for knowledge-driven performance management among healthcare organizations.”

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