Caltech Mixed-Signal, RF & Microwave Seminar
Advances in healthcare technologies have mainly focused on therapeutics, interventional procedures, and "late-stage" diagnostics. These steps have undergone significant improvements, leading to higher survival rates and enhancements in quality of life. Nevertheless, current trends are unsustainable due to the inadequate outcomes on specific critical diseases and skyrocketing national healthcare costs. An important example is cancer, where mortality rates have not seen major improvements, even with the tremendous technological advances in diagnostic imaging tools over the last four decades.
In this talk I will outline our efforts in better marrying technology and healthcare with new systems that 1) enable continuous "Nyquist rate" imaging and screening tools to enable preventive/predictive care, and 2) introduce smart implants for precision monitoring and closed-loop therapies. Preventive screening through continuous monitoring has the potential to fundamentally revamp our understanding of disease as well as targeted therapy. Today, the human body is monitored infrequently, perhaps on an annual basis and with a low "resolution". This is in contrast with advanced electronic systems (many of which our community designs and ships), which are frequently monitored and calibrated. I will summarize a few example projects that aim to address these issues, including portable, semiconductor-based, "Tricorder" imaging systems, ultrasound-powered implantable devices that can measure, detect, and act upon local physiological changes through closed-loop neuromodulation or "electroceuticals", and finally our new investigation of a noninvasive methods of neuromodulation based on ultrasonic excitation.