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Rice BIOE 301 - Study Notes

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BIOE 301/362 ProjectThe BIOE 301 project provides an opportunity for you to explore a public health problem and a bioengineeringsolution in more detail. Working in teams of 2 to 4 students, you will complete two major project assignments: - You will propose a new technology to solve a health problem- You will present a mock design of the new technology and plans for a clinical trial to evaluate the technologyEach week you will turn in a smaller project task which will help your team to complete these two majorassignments. You should turn in the form on page 3 of this document with each project task.Part One: Propose a new technology to address a public health issue within a regional contextIn this part of the project, you will identify an important health problem, research the scope of the health problemand available technologic solutions, and specify limitations of current technologies which address the problem.Based on your research, you will propose a new technology to address the health problem taking into accountidentified limitations. The major tasks of this part of the project are outlined below:Task 1: Define a public health problem facing a particular country or region of the world. Due: 1/24 You may select your topic from a wide range of heath issues - you must simply demonstrate that the chosen issuesignificantly and adversely affects the lives of people in the country or region you have selected. Write a one-page(typed) summary of your disease including: Epidemiology, prevalence, and incidence in the region you haveselected; Risk factors; Pathophysiology of the disease; Physical signs and symptoms. Task 2: Evaluate current technology available meant to address the health issue. Due: 2/5Assess the effectiveness and efficacy of current devices or strategies employed throughout the world. What are theusage constraints? Are current solutions available only to a limited population due to cost or other factors? Couldalternate materials or approaches be used to reduce the overall cost? Is there another strategy/design that has neverbeen tried? Write a one-page (typed) summary of: (1) Current methods for diagnosis and their constraints; are theseavailable in the region you have selected? (2) Current treatments and their constraints; are these available in theregion you have selected?Task 3: Evaluate current technology limitations in the selected country or region. Due: 2/12Assess the effectiveness and efficacy of current devices or strategies employed in the selected country or region ofthe world. Of all current technologies available, which are feasible given the current available resources in theselected part of the world? What investments is the health system in the region selected making to develop orimplement new solutions? Are there other efforts from the private or public sectors to develop new solutions? Arethere investments in basic or applied research? Are large clinical trials underway to test new solutions? What are thelimitations of these approaches? Write a one-page (typed) summary of: (1) Current methods for diagnosis availablein the country or region you have selected and their limitations; how does this compare to other parts of the world?(1) Current methods for treatment available in the country or region you have selected and their limitations; howdoes this compare to other parts of the world?Task 4: Define design constraints that a solution to the health issue must satisfy. Due: 2/19These should be quantitative measures that include both technical performance and economic constraints that atechnology solution must address and satisfy. Examples of constraints that you might consider include: necessaryeducational level of primary user, necessary education level of patient/primary caregiver, detection limits of newscreening/diagnostic methods, efficacy rates of new therapies, infrastructure requirements (e.g. electricity, supportstaff, laboratory services), cultural concerns, time demands (e.g. number of visits to clinic, recovery time), cost, andsize. You should identify the performance capabilities and costs of existing solutions, as well as consider thepreferred performance that new solutions should strive for. Turn in a one page (typed) table summarizing thedesign constraints of technology solutions that address the selected health issue. Each row in the table shouldcorrespond to a specific constraint (e.g. unit cost of device). Each column should correspond to each technologyconsidered, one for each currently available solution assessed and one which represents the preferred performanceof a new design.Part Two: Present a design of the new technology and plans for a clinical trial to evaluate the technology.In this part of the project, you will use the engineering design method to design a new solution to an importanthealth problem. You will create a physical prototype of your design, outline a clinical trial to evaluate itsperformance, and present these to the class as part of a design review exercise.Task 5: Propose a new technology to address the limitations of delivery in the selected. Due: 3/25Your solution should provide an advantage compared to existing solutions. This could be either an improvement toan existing device or a completely new strategy. For example, if your project is to develop alternative TB therapies,you might propose an alternate drug delivery mechanism (e.g. patches, controlled-release injections, implantabledevices, etc) that could be used to deliver 6 to 9 months of TB therapy without requiring frequent physician visits ordaily drugs. Remember, improvements are not limited only to changes in device design, but may also includeincreasing availability of the device to health care workers in the field or decreasing the cost to manufacture anddistribute a health technology. Turn in a one page summary of your new solution. The summary should include thefollowing: (1) overview of your design, (2) scientific principles of the design, (3) expected benefits of the design,(4) potential risks associated with the design, (5) a determination of whether the design meets the constraintsspecified in Task 4, careful to justify trade-offs made between expected performance and cost. Task 6: Design a clinical trial to evaluate the proposed technology. Due: 4/8Turn in a design for a clinical trial. Specify the following: 1) the


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