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Patients undergoing a positron emission tomography (PET) scan in today’s bulky, donut-shaped machines must lie completely still. Because of this, scientists cannot use the scanners to unearth links between movement and brain activity. What goes on up there when we nod in agreement or shake hands? How are the brains of people struggling to walk after a stroke different from those who can? To tackle questions like these, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University (WVU), has partnered with Stan Majewski, a physicist at WVU and now at the University of Virginia, to develop a miniaturized PET brain scanner. The scanner can be “worn” like a helmet, allowing research subjects to stand and make movements as the device scans. This Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner could launch new psychological and clinical studies on how the brain functions when affected by diseases from epilepsy to addiction, and during ordinary and dysfunctional social interactions. “There are so many possibilities,” said Brefczynski-Lewis, “Scientists could use AMPET to study Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injuries, or even our sense of balance. We want to push the limits of imaging mobility with this device.” The idea was sparked by a scanner developed for studying rats, a project started in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Majewski, a high-energy physicist by training, originally caught wind of Brookhaven’s “RatCAP ” project because he ran in the same physicist circles as several of the RatCAP team members. “I learned about what my friends and colleagues at Brookhaven were doing,” said Majewski, “and decided to build the same type of device for humans.” The Rat Conscious Animal PET, or RatCAP, scanner is a 250-gram ring that fits around the head of a rat, suspended by springs to support its weight and let the rat scurry about as the device scans. Nora Volkow, head of Brookhaven’s Life Sciences division at the time, came up with the idea to image the brains of awake and moving animals. “I wanted to do PET scans on animals without having to use anesthesia,” said Volkow, who is now the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unlike humans, animals can’t be told to simply lie still in a scanner. But the anesthesia required to make them lie still muddies the results. “It affects the distribution of the PET radiotracer and inhibits neurons,” Volkow said. A wearable scanner, however, would move with the animal’s brain and eliminate the need for anesthesia. Volkow enlisted the help of Brookhaven scientists and engineers to make the idea a reality. Fortunately, there is a large overlap between medical imaging and nuclear physics, a subject in which Brookhaven Lab is a world leader. Today, physicists at the Lab use technology similar to PET scanners at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [https://www.bnl.gov/rhic/] (RHIC), where they must track the particles that fly out of near-light speed collisions of charged nuclei. PET research at the Lab dates back to the early 1960s and includes the creation of the first single-plane scanner as well as various tracer molecules “Both fields think about the same things—how the photodetectors work, how the scintillating crystals work, how the electronics work,” said Brookhaven physicist Craig Woody. “PET scanners, as well as CT [computed tomography] and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], are used by doctors but they are built by detector physicists.” Woody, who is now working on a new particle detector for RHIC, led the RatCAP project with David Schlyer and Paul Vaska. At the time, Schlyer and Vaska were heads of Brookhaven’s cyclotron operations and of PET physics, respectively. Schlyer is now a scientist emeritus at the Lab and Vaska is a professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University. In designing the small-scale scanner, the team used recent advances in detector technology. For instance, they used dense crystals to convert the gamma photons generated by positron-electron interactions into visible light, along with small light-detecting sensors called avalanche photodiodes. They also used special electronics developed at Brookhaven and built into the compact, lightweight PET detector. Suspending the structure on long springs helped support its weight so rats could “wear” the scanner while moving around easily. “It was a very collaborative effort,” said Schlyer, who produced the radioisotopes needed for the scans. “We had people from physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and electrical engineering.” Word got out about RatCAP as the scientists presented their progress at conferences and meetings. Stan Majewski, then at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), took notice. He had been working on new methods of breast cancer imaging, applying his high-energy physics detector expertise to the medical field. “I had known Stan for a long time—we worked together at CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory,” said Woody. “I have to give him credit because he was constantly saying ‘you really ought to do medical physics.’” Majewski noted that Jefferson Lab's management was very supportive of the project and provided some seed money even after he relocated to WVU to do more work on medical imaging. While there he expanded on the ideas of the RatCAP and built a prototype wearable PET brain imager for humans. “A mobile brain imaging tool has applications in psychology research and clinical uses,” Majewski said. “You could do bedside imaging of epilepsy, for example, and watch what happens in the brain during a seizure.” Majewski’s “Helmet_PET” prototype, patented in 2011, used silicon photomultipliers—a newer, similarly compact but more efficient photodetector than the avalanche photodiodes used in RatCAP. “Stan saw the potential in the RatCAP and took it further,” said Woody. The patent drawing of the prototype was sitting on Majewski’s desk at WVU when Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist, walked in. The drawing of a helmet-shaped detector on an upright person caught her attention. “I had always been bothered by this middle zone of the brain you couldn’t reach with other imaging technologies,” she said. “With electroencephalography (EEG) you can’t reach deep brain structures, but with PET and MRI you can’t have motion. I thought Stan’s device could fill this niche.” After building the first prototype at WVU, the two scientists began using Helmet_PET to image the brains of volunteer patients. After Majewski transferred to the University of Virginia the team developed a newer model of the device, now known as AMPET. The current imaging cap is designed to scan a standing person and is attached to an overhead support, allowing for some motion. AMPET bears great similarity to one of the first PET scanners [https://www.flickr.com/photos/brookhavenlab/3181807959/in/album-72157611796003039/] built at Brookhaven, nicknamed the “hair dryer.” “The ideas have sort of come full circle,” said Schlyer. “What has changed is the technology that makes these devices possible.” The AMPET team hopes to start developing a full-brain scanner soon—one that covers the entire head rather than examining a horizontal five-centimeter section, like the current ring. Because AMPET sits so close to the brain, it can “catch” more of the photons stemming from the radiotracers used in PET than larger scanners can. That means researchers can administer a lower dose of radioactive material and still get a good biological snapshot. Catching more signals also allows AMPET to create higher resolution images than regular PET. But most importantly, PET scans allow researchers to see further into the body than other imaging tools. This lets AMPET reach deep neural structures while the research subjects are upright and moving. “A lot of the important things that are going on with emotion, memory, and behavior are way deep in the center of the brain: the basal ganglia, hippocampus, amygdala,” Brefczynski-Lewis said. From a psychologist’s or neuroscientist’s perspective, AMPET could open doors to a variety of experiments, from exploring the brain’s reactions to different environments to the mechanisms involved in arguing or being in love. Brefczynski-Lewis described ways to use AMPET to study the brain activity that underlies emotion. “Currently we are doing tests to validate the use of virtual reality environments in future experiments,” she said. In this “virtual reality,” volunteers would read from a script designed to make the subject angry, for example, as his or her brain is scanned. In the medical sphere, the scanning helmet could help explain what happens during drug treatments, or shed light on movement disorders. “There is a sub-population of Parkinson’s patients who have great difficulty walking, but can ride a bicycle with ease and without hesitation,” said Schlyer, who is also an adjunct professor in the Radiology department at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies Parkinson’s. “What is going on in their brains that makes these two activities so different? With this device we could monitor regional brain activation as patients walk and bike, and potentially answer that question.” Brefczynski-Lewis noted, “We have successfully imaged the brain of someone walking in place. Now we’re ready to build a laboratory-ready version. It’s been an exciting journey—uncovering the needs of different neuroscientists and developing this device that we hope will someday meet those needs, and help in our quest to understand the brain.” The RatCAP project at Brookhaven was funded by the DOE Office of Science. RHIC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research.


Patients undergoing a positron emission tomography (PET) scan in today’s bulky, donut-shaped machines must lie completely still. Because of this, scientists cannot use the scanners to unearth links between movement and brain activity. What goes on up there when we nod in agreement or shake hands? How are the brains of people struggling to walk after a stroke different from those who can? To tackle questions like these, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University (WVU), has partnered with Stan Majewski, a physicist at WVU and now at the University of Virginia, to develop a miniaturized PET brain scanner. The scanner can be “worn” like a helmet, allowing research subjects to stand and make movements as the device scans. This Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner could launch new psychological and clinical studies on how the brain functions when affected by diseases from epilepsy to addiction, and during ordinary and dysfunctional social interactions. “There are so many possibilities,” said Brefczynski-Lewis, “Scientists could use AMPET to study Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injuries, or even our sense of balance. We want to push the limits of imaging mobility with this device.” The idea was sparked by a scanner developed for studying rats, a project started in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Majewski, a high-energy physicist by training, originally caught wind of Brookhaven’s “RatCAP ” project because he ran in the same physicist circles as several of the RatCAP team members. “I learned about what my friends and colleagues at Brookhaven were doing,” said Majewski, “and decided to build the same type of device for humans.” The Rat Conscious Animal PET, or RatCAP, scanner is a 250-gram ring that fits around the head of a rat, suspended by springs to support its weight and let the rat scurry about as the device scans. Nora Volkow, head of Brookhaven’s Life Sciences division at the time, came up with the idea to image the brains of awake and moving animals. “I wanted to do PET scans on animals without having to use anesthesia,” said Volkow, who is now the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unlike humans, animals can’t be told to simply lie still in a scanner. But the anesthesia required to make them lie still muddies the results. “It affects the distribution of the PET radiotracer and inhibits neurons,” Volkow said. A wearable scanner, however, would move with the animal’s brain and eliminate the need for anesthesia. Volkow enlisted the help of Brookhaven scientists and engineers to make the idea a reality. Fortunately, there is a large overlap between medical imaging and nuclear physics, a subject in which Brookhaven Lab is a world leader. Today, physicists at the Lab use technology similar to PET scanners at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [https://www.bnl.gov/rhic/] (RHIC), where they must track the particles that fly out of near-light speed collisions of charged nuclei. PET research at the Lab dates back to the early 1960s and includes the creation of the first single-plane scanner as well as various tracer molecules “Both fields think about the same things—how the photodetectors work, how the scintillating crystals work, how the electronics work,” said Brookhaven physicist Craig Woody. “PET scanners, as well as CT [computed tomography] and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], are used by doctors but they are built by detector physicists.” Woody, who is now working on a new particle detector for RHIC, led the RatCAP project with David Schlyer and Paul Vaska. At the time, Schlyer and Vaska were heads of Brookhaven’s cyclotron operations and of PET physics, respectively. Schlyer is now a scientist emeritus at the Lab and Vaska is a professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University. In designing the small-scale scanner, the team used recent advances in detector technology. For instance, they used dense crystals to convert the gamma photons generated by positron-electron interactions into visible light, along with small light-detecting sensors called avalanche photodiodes. They also used special electronics developed at Brookhaven and built into the compact, lightweight PET detector. Suspending the structure on long springs helped support its weight so rats could “wear” the scanner while moving around easily. “It was a very collaborative effort,” said Schlyer, who produced the radioisotopes needed for the scans. “We had people from physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and electrical engineering.” Word got out about RatCAP as the scientists presented their progress at conferences and meetings. Stan Majewski, then at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), took notice. He had been working on new methods of breast cancer imaging, applying his high-energy physics detector expertise to the medical field. “I had known Stan for a long time—we worked together at CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory,” said Woody. “I have to give him credit because he was constantly saying ‘you really ought to do medical physics.’” Majewski noted that Jefferson Lab's management was very supportive of the project and provided some seed money even after he relocated to WVU to do more work on medical imaging. While there he expanded on the ideas of the RatCAP and built a prototype wearable PET brain imager for humans. “A mobile brain imaging tool has applications in psychology research and clinical uses,” Majewski said. “You could do bedside imaging of epilepsy, for example, and watch what happens in the brain during a seizure.” Majewski’s “Helmet_PET” prototype, patented in 2011, used silicon photomultipliers—a newer, similarly compact but more efficient photodetector than the avalanche photodiodes used in RatCAP. “Stan saw the potential in the RatCAP and took it further,” said Woody. The patent drawing of the prototype was sitting on Majewski’s desk at WVU when Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist, walked in. The drawing of a helmet-shaped detector on an upright person caught her attention. “I had always been bothered by this middle zone of the brain you couldn’t reach with other imaging technologies,” she said. “With electroencephalography (EEG) you can’t reach deep brain structures, but with PET and MRI you can’t have motion. I thought Stan’s device could fill this niche.” After building the first prototype at WVU, the two scientists began using Helmet_PET to image the brains of volunteer patients. After Majewski transferred to the University of Virginia the team developed a newer model of the device, now known as AMPET. The current imaging cap is designed to scan a standing person and is attached to an overhead support, allowing for some motion. AMPET bears great similarity to one of the first PET scanners [https://www.flickr.com/photos/brookhavenlab/3181807959/in/album-72157611796003039/] built at Brookhaven, nicknamed the “hair dryer.” “The ideas have sort of come full circle,” said Schlyer. “What has changed is the technology that makes these devices possible.” The AMPET team hopes to start developing a full-brain scanner soon—one that covers the entire head rather than examining a horizontal five-centimeter section, like the current ring. Because AMPET sits so close to the brain, it can “catch” more of the photons stemming from the radiotracers used in PET than larger scanners can. That means researchers can administer a lower dose of radioactive material and still get a good biological snapshot. Catching more signals also allows AMPET to create higher resolution images than regular PET. But most importantly, PET scans allow researchers to see further into the body than other imaging tools. This lets AMPET reach deep neural structures while the research subjects are upright and moving. “A lot of the important things that are going on with emotion, memory, and behavior are way deep in the center of the brain: the basal ganglia, hippocampus, amygdala,” Brefczynski-Lewis said. From a psychologist’s or neuroscientist’s perspective, AMPET could open doors to a variety of experiments, from exploring the brain’s reactions to different environments to the mechanisms involved in arguing or being in love. Brefczynski-Lewis described ways to use AMPET to study the brain activity that underlies emotion. “Currently we are doing tests to validate the use of virtual reality environments in future experiments,” she said. In this “virtual reality,” volunteers would read from a script designed to make the subject angry, for example, as his or her brain is scanned. In the medical sphere, the scanning helmet could help explain what happens during drug treatments, or shed light on movement disorders. “There is a sub-population of Parkinson’s patients who have great difficulty walking, but can ride a bicycle with ease and without hesitation,” said Schlyer, who is also an adjunct professor in the Radiology department at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies Parkinson’s. “What is going on in their brains that makes these two activities so different? With this device we could monitor regional brain activation as patients walk and bike, and potentially answer that question.” Brefczynski-Lewis noted, “We have successfully imaged the brain of someone walking in place. Now we’re ready to build a laboratory-ready version. It’s been an exciting journey—uncovering the needs of different neuroscientists and developing this device that we hope will someday meet those needs, and help in our quest to understand the brain.” The RatCAP project at Brookhaven was funded by the DOE Office of Science. RHIC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research.


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Patients undergoing a positron emission tomography (PET) scan in today’s bulky, donut-shaped machines must lie completely still. Because of this, scientists cannot use the scanners to unearth links between movement and brain activity. What goes on up there when we nod in agreement or shake hands? How are the brains of people struggling to walk after a stroke different from those who can? To tackle questions like these, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University (WVU), has partnered with Stan Majewski, a physicist at WVU and now at the University of Virginia, to develop a miniaturized PET brain scanner. The scanner can be “worn” like a helmet, allowing research subjects to stand and make movements as the device scans. This Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner could launch new psychological and clinical studies on how the brain functions when affected by diseases from epilepsy to addiction, and during ordinary and dysfunctional social interactions. “There are so many possibilities,” says Brefczynski-Lewis, “Scientists could use AMPET to study Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injuries, or even our sense of balance. We want to push the limits of imaging mobility with this device.” The idea was sparked by a scanner developed for studying rats, a project started in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Majewski, a high-energy physicist by training, originally caught wind of Brookhaven’s “RatCAP” project because he ran in the same physicist circles as several of the RatCAP team members “I learned about what my friends and colleagues at Brookhaven were doing,” says Majewski, “and decided to build the same type of device for humans.” The Rat Conscious Animal PET, or RatCAP, scanner is a 250-gram ring that fits around the head of a rat, suspended by springs to support its weight and let the rat scurry about as the device scans. Nora Volkow, head of Brookhaven’s Life Sciences division at the time, came up with the idea to image the brains of awake and moving animals. “I wanted to do PET scans on animals without having to use anesthesia,” says Volkow, who is now the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unlike humans, animals can’t be told to simply lie still in a scanner. But the anesthesia required to make them lie still muddies the results. “It affects the distribution of the PET radiotracer and inhibits neurons,” Volkow said. A wearable scanner, however, would move with the animal’s brain and eliminate the need for anesthesia. Volkow enlisted the help of Brookhaven scientists and engineers to make the idea a reality. Fortunately, there is a large overlap between medical imaging and nuclear physics, a subject in which Brookhaven Lab is a world leader. Today, physicists at the Lab use technology similar to PET scanners at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), where they must track the particles that fly out of near-light speed collisions of charged nuclei. PET research at the Lab dates back to the early 1960s and includes the creation of the first single-plane scanner as well as various tracer molecules. “Both fields think about the same things — how the photodetectors work, how the scintillating crystals work, how the electronics work,” says Brookhaven physicist Craig Woody. “PET scanners, as well as CT [computed tomography] and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], are used by doctors but they are built by detector physicists.” Woody, who is now working on a new particle detector for RHIC, led the RatCAP project with David Schlyer and Paul Vaska. At the time, Schlyer and Vaska were heads of Brookhaven’s cyclotron operations and of PET physics, respectively. Schlyer is now a scientist emeritus at the Lab and Vaska is a professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University. In designing the small-scale scanner, the team used recent advances in detector technology. For instance, they used dense crystals to convert the gamma photons generated by positron-electron interactions into visible light, along with small light-detecting sensors called avalanche photodiodes. They also used special electronics developed at Brookhaven and built into the compact, lightweight PET detector. Suspending the structure on long springs helped support its weight so rats could “wear” the scanner while moving around easily. “It was a very collaborative effort,” says Schlyer, who produced the radioisotopes needed for the scans. “We had people from physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and electrical engineering.” Word got out about RatCAP as the scientists presented their progress at conferences and meetings. Stan Majewski, then at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), took notice. He had been working on new methods of breast cancer imaging, applying his high-energy physics detector expertise to the medical field. “I had known Stan for a long time — we worked together at CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory,” says Woody. “I have to give him credit because he was constantly saying ‘you really ought to do medical physics.’” Majewski notes that Jefferson Lab's management was very supportive of the project and provided some seed money even after he relocated to WVU to do more work on medical imaging. While there he expanded on the ideas of the RatCAP and built a prototype wearable PET brain imager for humans. “A mobile brain imaging tool has applications in psychology research and clinical uses,” Majewski says. “You could do bedside imaging of epilepsy, for example, and watch what happens in the brain during a seizure.” Majewski’s “Helmet_PET” prototype, patented in 2011, used silicon photomultipliers — a newer, similarly compact but more efficient photodetector than the avalanche photodiodes used in RatCAP. “Stan saw the potential in the RatCAP and took it further,” says Woody. The patent drawing of the prototype was sitting on Majewski’s desk at WVU when Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist, walked in. The drawing of a helmet-shaped detector on an upright person caught her attention. “I had always been bothered by this middle zone of the brain you couldn’t reach with other imaging technologies,” she says. “With electroencephalography (EEG) you can’t reach deep brain structures, but with PET and MRI you can’t have motion. I thought Stan’s device could fill this niche.” After building the first prototype at WVU, the two scientists began using Helmet_PET to image the brains of volunteer patients. After Majewski transferred to the University of Virginia the team developed a newer model of the device, now known as AMPET. The current imaging cap is designed to scan a standing person and is attached to an overhead support, allowing for some motion. AMPET bears great similarity to one of the first PET scanners built at Brookhaven, nicknamed the “hair dryer.” “The ideas have sort of come full circle,” says Schlyer. “What has changed is the technology that makes these devices possible.” The AMPET team hopes to start developing a full-brain scanner soon — one that covers the entire head rather than examining a horizontal five-centimeter section, like the current ring. Because AMPET sits so close to the brain, it can “catch” more of the photons stemming from the radiotracers used in PET than larger scanners can. That means researchers can administer a lower dose of radioactive material and still get a good biological snapshot. Catching more signals also allows AMPET to create higher resolution images than regular PET. But most importantly, PET scans allow researchers to see further into the body than other imaging tools. This lets AMPET reach deep neural structures while the research subjects are upright and moving. “A lot of the important things that are going on with emotion, memory, and behavior are way deep in the center of the brain: the basal ganglia, hippocampus, amygdala,” Brefczynski-Lewis says. From a psychologist’s or neuroscientist’s perspective, AMPET could open doors to a variety of experiments, from exploring the brain’s reactions to different environments to the mechanisms involved in arguing or being in love. Brefczynski-Lewis describe ways to use AMPET to study the brain activity that underlies emotion. “Currently we are doing tests to validate the use of virtual reality environments in future experiments,” she says. In this “virtual reality,” volunteers would read from a script designed to make the subject angry, for example, as his or her brain is scanned. In the medical sphere, the scanning helmet could help explain what happens during drug treatments, or shed light on movement disorders. “There is a sub-population of Parkinson’s patients who have great difficulty walking, but can ride a bicycle with ease and without hesitation,” says Schlyer, who is also an adjunct professor in the Radiology department at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies Parkinson’s. “What is going on in their brains that makes these two activities so different? With this device we could monitor regional brain activation as patients walk and bike, and potentially answer that question.” Brefczynski-Lewis notes, “We have successfully imaged the brain of someone walking in place. Now we’re ready to build a laboratory-ready version. It’s been an exciting journey — uncovering the needs of different neuroscientists and developing this device that we hope will someday meet those needs, and help in our quest to understand the brain.” The RatCAP project at Brookhaven was funded by the DOE Office of Science. RHIC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research.


To tackle questions like these, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University (WVU), has partnered with Stan Majewski, a physicist at WVU and now at the University of Virginia, to develop a miniaturized PET brain scanner. The scanner can be "worn" like a helmet, allowing research subjects to stand and make movements as the device scans. This Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner could launch new psychological and clinical studies on how the brain functions when affected by diseases from epilepsy to addiction, and during ordinary and dysfunctional social interactions. "There are so many possibilities," said Brefczynski-Lewis, "Scientists could use AMPET to study Alzheimer's or traumatic brain injuries, or even our sense of balance. We want to push the limits of imaging mobility with this device." The idea was sparked by a scanner developed for studying rats, a project started in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Majewski, a high-energy physicist by training, originally caught wind of Brookhaven's "RatCAP" project because he ran in the same physicist circles as several of the RatCAP team members. "I learned about what my friends and colleagues at Brookhaven were doing," said Majewski, "and decided to build the same type of device for humans." The Rat Conscious Animal PET, or RatCAP, scanner is a 250-gram ring that fits around the head of a rat, suspended by springs to support its weight and let the rat scurry about as the device scans. Nora Volkow, head of Brookhaven's Life Sciences division at the time, came up with the idea to image the brains of awake and moving animals. "I wanted to do PET scans on animals without having to use anesthesia," said Volkow, who is now the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unlike humans, animals can't be told to simply lie still in a scanner. But the anesthesia required to make them lie still muddies the results. "It affects the distribution of the PET radiotracer and inhibits neurons," Volkow said. A wearable scanner, however, would move with the animal's brain and eliminate the need for anesthesia (see HOW PET WORKS). Volkow enlisted the help of Brookhaven scientists and engineers to make the idea a reality. Fortunately, there is a large overlap between medical imaging and nuclear physics, a subject in which Brookhaven Lab is a world leader. Today, physicists at the Lab use technology similar to PET scanners at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), where they must track the particles that fly out of near-light speed collisions of charged nuclei. PET research at the Lab dates back to the early 1960s and includes the creation of the first single-plane scanner as well as various tracer molecules. "Both fields think about the same things—how the photodetectors work, how the scintillating crystals work, how the electronics work," said Brookhaven physicist Craig Woody. "PET scanners, as well as CT [computed tomography] and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], are used by doctors but they are built by detector physicists." Woody, who is now working on a new particle detector for RHIC, led the RatCAP project with David Schlyer and Paul Vaska. At the time, Schlyer and Vaska were heads of Brookhaven's cyclotron operations and of PET physics, respectively. Schlyer is now a scientist emeritus at the Lab and Vaska is a professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University. In designing the small-scale scanner, the team used recent advances in detector technology. For instance, they used dense crystals to convert the gamma photons generated by positron-electron interactions into visible light, along with small light-detecting sensors called avalanche photodiodes. They also used special electronics developed at Brookhaven and built into the compact, lightweight PET detector. Suspending the structure on long springs helped support its weight so rats could "wear" the scanner while moving around easily. "It was a very collaborative effort," said Schlyer, who produced the radioisotopes needed for the scans. "We had people from physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and electrical engineering." Word got out about RatCAP as the scientists presented their progress at conferences and meetings. Stan Majewski, then at DOE's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), took notice. He had been working on new methods of breast cancer imaging, applying his high-energy physics detector expertise to the medical field. "I had known Stan for a long time—we worked together at CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory," said Woody. "I have to give him credit because he was constantly saying 'you really ought to do medical physics.'" Majewski noted that Jefferson Lab's management was very supportive of the project and provided some seed money even after he relocated to WVU to do more work on medical imaging. While there he expanded on the ideas of the RatCAP and built a prototype wearable PET brain imager for humans. "A mobile brain imaging tool has applications in psychology research and clinical uses," Majewski said. "You could do bedside imaging of epilepsy, for example, and watch what happens in the brain during a seizure." Majewski's "Helmet_PET" prototype, patented in 2011, used silicon photomultipliers—a newer, similarly compact but more efficient photodetector than the avalanche photodiodes used in RatCAP. "Stan saw the potential in the RatCAP and took it further," said Woody. The patent drawing of the prototype was sitting on Majewski's desk at WVU when Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist, walked in. The drawing of a helmet-shaped detector on an upright person caught her attention. "I had always been bothered by this middle zone of the brain you couldn't reach with other imaging technologies," she said. "With electroencephalography (EEG) you can't reach deep brain structures, but with PET and MRI you can't have motion. I thought Stan's device could fill this niche." After building the first prototype at WVU, the two scientists began using Helmet_PET to image the brains of volunteer patients. After Majewski transferred to the University of Virginia the team developed a newer model of the device, now known as AMPET. The current imaging cap is designed to scan a standing person and is attached to an overhead support, allowing for some motion. AMPET bears great similarity to one of the first PET scanners built at Brookhaven, nicknamed the "hair dryer." "The ideas have sort of come full circle," said Schlyer. "What has changed is the technology that makes these devices possible." The AMPET team hopes to start developing a full-brain scanner soon—one that covers the entire head rather than examining a horizontal five-centimeter section, like the current ring. Because AMPET sits so close to the brain, it can "catch" more of the photons stemming from the radiotracers used in PET than larger scanners can. That means researchers can administer a lower dose of radioactive material and still get a good biological snapshot. Catching more signals also allows AMPET to create higher resolution images than regular PET. But most importantly, PET scans allow researchers to see further into the body than other imaging tools. This lets AMPET reach deep neural structures while the research subjects are upright and moving. "A lot of the important things that are going on with emotion, memory, and behavior are way deep in the center of the brain: the basal ganglia, hippocampus, amygdala," Brefczynski-Lewis said. From a psychologist's or neuroscientist's perspective, AMPET could open doors to a variety of experiments, from exploring the brain's reactions to different environments to the mechanisms involved in arguing or being in love. Brefczynski-Lewis described ways to use AMPET to study the brain activity that underlies emotion. "Currently we are doing tests to validate the use of virtual reality environments in future experiments," she said. In this "virtual reality," volunteers would read from a script designed to make the subject angry, for example, as his or her brain is scanned. In the medical sphere, the scanning helmet could help explain what happens during drug treatments, or shed light on movement disorders. "There is a sub-population of Parkinson's patients who have great difficulty walking, but can ride a bicycle with ease and without hesitation," said Schlyer, who is also an adjunct professor in the Radiology department at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies Parkinson's. "What is going on in their brains that makes these two activities so different? With this device we could monitor regional brain activation as patients walk and bike, and potentially answer that question." Brefczynski-Lewis noted, "We have successfully imaged the brain of someone walking in place. Now we're ready to build a laboratory-ready version. It's been an exciting journey—uncovering the needs of different neuroscientists and developing this device that we hope will someday meet those needs, and help in our quest to understand the brain." The RatCAP project at Brookhaven was funded by the DOE Office of Science. RHIC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research. Explore further: Miniature 'wearable' PET scanner ready for use (w/ Video)


News Article | May 19, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

Patients undergoing a positron emission tomography (PET) scan in today’s bulky, donut-shaped machines must lie completely still. Because of this, scientists cannot use the scanners to unearth links between movement and brain activity. What goes on up there when we nod in agreement or shake hands? How are the brains of people struggling to walk after a stroke different from those who can? To tackle questions like these, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist at West Virginia University (WVU), has partnered with Stan Majewski, a physicist at WVU and now at the University of Virginia, to develop a miniaturized PET brain scanner. The scanner can be “worn” like a helmet, allowing research subjects to stand and make movements as the device scans. This Ambulatory Microdose Positron Emission Tomography (AMPET) scanner could launch new psychological and clinical studies on how the brain functions when affected by diseases from epilepsy to addiction, and during ordinary and dysfunctional social interactions. “There are so many possibilities,” says Brefczynski-Lewis, “Scientists could use AMPET to study Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain injuries, or even our sense of balance. We want to push the limits of imaging mobility with this device.” The idea was sparked by a scanner developed for studying rats, a project started in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. Majewski, a high-energy physicist by training, originally caught wind of Brookhaven’s “RatCAP” project because he ran in the same physicist circles as several of the RatCAP team members “I learned about what my friends and colleagues at Brookhaven were doing,” says Majewski, “and decided to build the same type of device for humans.” The Rat Conscious Animal PET, or RatCAP, scanner is a 250-gram ring that fits around the head of a rat, suspended by springs to support its weight and let the rat scurry about as the device scans. Nora Volkow, head of Brookhaven’s Life Sciences division at the time, came up with the idea to image the brains of awake and moving animals. “I wanted to do PET scans on animals without having to use anesthesia,” says Volkow, who is now the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unlike humans, animals can’t be told to simply lie still in a scanner. But the anesthesia required to make them lie still muddies the results. “It affects the distribution of the PET radiotracer and inhibits neurons,” Volkow said. A wearable scanner, however, would move with the animal’s brain and eliminate the need for anesthesia. Volkow enlisted the help of Brookhaven scientists and engineers to make the idea a reality. Fortunately, there is a large overlap between medical imaging and nuclear physics, a subject in which Brookhaven Lab is a world leader. Today, physicists at the Lab use technology similar to PET scanners at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), where they must track the particles that fly out of near-light speed collisions of charged nuclei. PET research at the Lab dates back to the early 1960s and includes the creation of the first single-plane scanner as well as various tracer molecules. “Both fields think about the same things — how the photodetectors work, how the scintillating crystals work, how the electronics work,” says Brookhaven physicist Craig Woody. “PET scanners, as well as CT [computed tomography] and MRI [magnetic resonance imaging], are used by doctors but they are built by detector physicists.” Woody, who is now working on a new particle detector for RHIC, led the RatCAP project with David Schlyer and Paul Vaska. At the time, Schlyer and Vaska were heads of Brookhaven’s cyclotron operations and of PET physics, respectively. Schlyer is now a scientist emeritus at the Lab and Vaska is a professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University. In designing the small-scale scanner, the team used recent advances in detector technology. For instance, they used dense crystals to convert the gamma photons generated by positron-electron interactions into visible light, along with small light-detecting sensors called avalanche photodiodes. They also used special electronics developed at Brookhaven and built into the compact, lightweight PET detector. Suspending the structure on long springs helped support its weight so rats could “wear” the scanner while moving around easily. “It was a very collaborative effort,” says Schlyer, who produced the radioisotopes needed for the scans. “We had people from physics, biology, chemistry, medicine, and electrical engineering.” Word got out about RatCAP as the scientists presented their progress at conferences and meetings. Stan Majewski, then at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), took notice. He had been working on new methods of breast cancer imaging, applying his high-energy physics detector expertise to the medical field. “I had known Stan for a long time — we worked together at CERN, the European nuclear physics laboratory,” says Woody. “I have to give him credit because he was constantly saying ‘you really ought to do medical physics.’” Majewski notes that Jefferson Lab's management was very supportive of the project and provided some seed money even after he relocated to WVU to do more work on medical imaging. While there he expanded on the ideas of the RatCAP and built a prototype wearable PET brain imager for humans. “A mobile brain imaging tool has applications in psychology research and clinical uses,” Majewski says. “You could do bedside imaging of epilepsy, for example, and watch what happens in the brain during a seizure.” Majewski’s “Helmet_PET” prototype, patented in 2011, used silicon photomultipliers — a newer, similarly compact but more efficient photodetector than the avalanche photodiodes used in RatCAP. “Stan saw the potential in the RatCAP and took it further,” says Woody. The patent drawing of the prototype was sitting on Majewski’s desk at WVU when Brefczynski-Lewis, a neuroscientist, walked in. The drawing of a helmet-shaped detector on an upright person caught her attention. “I had always been bothered by this middle zone of the brain you couldn’t reach with other imaging technologies,” she says. “With electroencephalography (EEG) you can’t reach deep brain structures, but with PET and MRI you can’t have motion. I thought Stan’s device could fill this niche.” After building the first prototype at WVU, the two scientists began using Helmet_PET to image the brains of volunteer patients. After Majewski transferred to the University of Virginia the team developed a newer model of the device, now known as AMPET. The current imaging cap is designed to scan a standing person and is attached to an overhead support, allowing for some motion. AMPET bears great similarity to one of the first PET scanners built at Brookhaven, nicknamed the “hair dryer.” “The ideas have sort of come full circle,” says Schlyer. “What has changed is the technology that makes these devices possible.” The AMPET team hopes to start developing a full-brain scanner soon — one that covers the entire head rather than examining a horizontal five-centimeter section, like the current ring. Because AMPET sits so close to the brain, it can “catch” more of the photons stemming from the radiotracers used in PET than larger scanners can. That means researchers can administer a lower dose of radioactive material and still get a good biological snapshot. Catching more signals also allows AMPET to create higher resolution images than regular PET. But most importantly, PET scans allow researchers to see further into the body than other imaging tools. This lets AMPET reach deep neural structures while the research subjects are upright and moving. “A lot of the important things that are going on with emotion, memory, and behavior are way deep in the center of the brain: the basal ganglia, hippocampus, amygdala,” Brefczynski-Lewis says. From a psychologist’s or neuroscientist’s perspective, AMPET could open doors to a variety of experiments, from exploring the brain’s reactions to different environments to the mechanisms involved in arguing or being in love. Brefczynski-Lewis describe ways to use AMPET to study the brain activity that underlies emotion. “Currently we are doing tests to validate the use of virtual reality environments in future experiments,” she says. In this “virtual reality,” volunteers would read from a script designed to make the subject angry, for example, as his or her brain is scanned. In the medical sphere, the scanning helmet could help explain what happens during drug treatments, or shed light on movement disorders. “There is a sub-population of Parkinson’s patients who have great difficulty walking, but can ride a bicycle with ease and without hesitation,” says Schlyer, who is also an adjunct professor in the Radiology department at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies Parkinson’s. “What is going on in their brains that makes these two activities so different? With this device we could monitor regional brain activation as patients walk and bike, and potentially answer that question.” Brefczynski-Lewis notes, “We have successfully imaged the brain of someone walking in place. Now we’re ready to build a laboratory-ready version. It’s been an exciting journey — uncovering the needs of different neuroscientists and developing this device that we hope will someday meet those needs, and help in our quest to understand the brain.” The RatCAP project at Brookhaven was funded by the DOE Office of Science. RHIC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research.


AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), the nation’s largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing properties, announced today that Bill Bayless, the company’s co-founder and CEO was inducted into West Virginia University’s prestigious Academy of Distinguished Alumni – one of the University’s highest honors. Inductees to The Academy of Distinguished Alumni are nominated by the membership of the Alumni Association, and to be considered for this prestigious recognition, nominees must be recognized in profession at the national or international level. “In its 150th year, WVU graduates continue to push the boundaries of innovation and excellence,” said Sean Frisbee, WVU vice president for alumni relations. “This year we recognize four individuals who have paved the way for us to really ‘Go First’ with their remarkable accomplishments. It truly is an honor to induct such exceptional alumni like Linda, George, Katherine and William into our Academy of Distinguished Alumni.” Bayless, along with three other 2017 inductees, was honored at a recognition ceremony Friday, May 19 at WVU’s Erickson Alumni Center. This year’s other inductees include Dr. Linda Carson, Dr. George Fahey and Katherine Johnson. Bill Bayless was recognized for his business excellence and leadership and work to improve the residential experience for college students across the nation. Through American Campus Communities, Bayless has created the student housing industry’s leading company and has also led the institutionalization of a new real estate asset class. Dr. Linda Carson is a Ware Distinguished Professor Emerita at West Virginia University and served on the faculty of the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences for 30 years. She is the founder and CEO of Choosy Kids, a company devoted to developing healthy habits early in life. Dr. George Fahey is a Professor Emeritus of Animal Sciences and Nutritional Sciences with a focus on gastrointestinal tract health and has also been author or co-author of many books, book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles, along with numerous abstracts, monographs and popular press articles related to ruminant nutrition. Katherine G. Johnson is a pioneer of the American space movement, working as a pool mathematician for the Langley Research Center, part of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which later became what is now known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She is also the subject of a recent book and film titled Hidden Figures. “My experiences at WVU are a vital part of who I am, and have played an important role in my success and the success of American Campus Communities,” Bayless said. “Membership in the Academy of Distinguished Alumni, among such accomplished Mountaineers, is truly the honor of a lifetime.” American Campus Communities, Inc. is the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing communities in the United States. The company is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered equity real estate investment trust (REIT) with expertise in the design, finance, development, construction management and operational management of student housing properties. As of March 31, 2017, American Campus Communities owned 157 student housing properties containing approximately 97,500 beds. Including its owned and third-party managed properties, ACC's total managed portfolio consisted of 194 properties with approximately 127,200 beds. Visit www.americancampus.com. In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements under the federal securities law. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the industry and markets in which American Campus operates, management's beliefs, and assumptions made by management. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

In years past, many have criticized the football practice fields at West Virginia University. The grass surfaces were in such bad shape players and coaches expressed worry about injuries, with one player calling the fields a “mess”. Earlier this year, the Mountaineers rectified the situation by choosing FieldTurf to remove the old fields and replace it with an artificial turf playing surface. Named the Steve Antoline Family Football Practice Fields, the facility brings an added level of excellence to the Mountaineers’ program. This Mountaineers continue their partnership with FieldTurf – In 2016, they opted for our system at Milan Puskar Stadium. “The WVU football brand is strong as it is. With this upgraded field, the Mountaineers only become bolder,” Fansided’s Matthew Peaslee wrote this past year. AN ELITE SURFACE FOR AN ELITE PROGRAM The Mountaineers’ new practice fields provide a superior playing surface that features the latest in our turf-system technology, as well as an industry-leading level of safety. The Industry Leader in Strength The Revolution 360 is comprised of individual fibers whose level of performance has never been seen before in the artificial turf industry. The Mountaineers’ elite athletes can practice at the highest intensity knowing each fiber on their practice fields has scored an unprecedented 83 on the Fiber Performance Index, an independent test created by trusted sports-surface research group Labosport. No other turf system could match the Revolution 360’s elite combination of feel, recovery, or U.V. and tear resistance. West Virginia’s football program enjoyed a 9-2 season in 2016, losing only once on their home turf to conference powerhouse Oklahoma. Quickly becoming the most popular surface in North America, West Virginia University will join an impressive list of current users, of which features CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks & Sounders, Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots & Revolution, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons and United, Portland Timbers, Princeton University, Toledo University, University of Texas at El Paso and over 200 High School and community fields.


The M*Modal cloud-based documentation platform chosen for its top-ranking speech and real-time cognitive technologies to improve outcomes at nine affiliate hospitals FRANKLIN, TN--(Marketwired - May 08, 2017) - M*Modal, a leading provider of clinical documentation and Speech Understanding™ solutions, today announced it will provide WVU Medicine with its artificial intelligence enabled documentation platform to reduce the administrative burden on 1,500 physicians while improving clinical and financial outcomes. WVU Medicine, a premier healthcare organization comprising nine hospitals including a 645-bed academic medical center and multiple physician practices, is in the midst of deploying the Epic EHR system. M*Modal market-leading solutions will help clinicians at WVU Medicine document quickly, accurately and completely in their Epic system, both in inpatient and outpatient care settings. Upgrading from a legacy voice recognition product, WVU Medicine selected M*Modal to revitalize and standardize clinical documentation processes across the growing enterprise. Additionally, M*Modal's long-standing collaboration with Epic to power applications such as Epic NoteReader as well as the real-time clinical intelligence delivered with M*Modal Computer-Assisted Physician Documentation (CAPD) were key deciding factors. To meet WVU Medicine's goal of higher physician adoption and utilization of speech recognition technology to reduce cost and improve quality, M*Modal in-house Adoption Services will deliver differentiating expertise, training and responsiveness. With this strategic partnership, WVU Medicine will utilize top-ranking M*Modal solutions to empower both its front-end physician users and back-end medical editors transcribing over 25 million lines annually. The M*Modal speech-enabled documentation platform includes both #1 Best in KLAS, Speech Recognition: Front-End EMR, M*Modal Fluency Direct®, and #1 KLAS Category Leader, Speech Recognition: Back-End, M*Modal Fluency for Transcription®. "We expect M*Modal CAPD to significantly reduce time-consuming, retrospective physician queries that are very disruptive to clinicians and labor intensive for nurses and CDI specialists," said James Venturella, Vice President and CIO of WVU Medicine West Virginia University Health System. "We are excited to leverage the M*Modal real-time natural language understanding technology to bring Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) to the front-end documentation workflow in Epic, which will free up back-end resources, improve chart documentation, support more appropriate reimbursement and deliver a significant return on investment." "We are proud to serve as a collaborative partner to West Virginia University Medicine to deliver next-generation documentation solutions with an extensible technology framework for a growth-enabling documentation strategy," said Michael Finke, President of M*Modal. "Given our fully-aligned goals of improving the physician documentation experience, freeing up physician time for patient care and meeting organizational objectives on better clinical, financial and operational outcomes, we look forward to early and sustained success." With this multi-facility deployment, M*Modal will help unify workflows and empower multiple stakeholders at WVU Medicine. M*Modal Fluency Direct provides front-end speech recognition with embedded CAPD functionality for delivering real-time and in-workflow clinical insights to physicians as they dictate or type in over 120 EHRs. Used in conjunction with M*Modal CDI Engage™, this closed-loop documentation solution continually analyzes the clinical note, suggests improvements in quality and compliance, and reports on physician engagement with the system for a uniquely effective and targeted approach. M*Modal Fluency for Transcription delivers advanced back-end workflow management capabilities to significantly boost the productivity of in-house medical editors at WVU Medicine with efficiency-enhancing and quality-assurance functionality. All these solutions are powered by the same artificial intelligence enabled technology platform and a single user voice profile so that physicians can effectively capture the complete patient story, irrespective of how or where they document care. M*Modal is a leading healthcare technology provider of advanced clinical documentation solutions, enabling hospitals and physicians to enrich the content of patient electronic health records (EHR) for improved healthcare and comprehensive billing integrity. As one of the largest clinical transcription service providers in the U.S., with a global network of medical editors, M*Modal also provides advanced cloud-based Speech Understanding™ technology and data analytics that enable physicians and clinicians to include the context of their patient narratives into electronic health records in a single step, further enhancing their productivity and the cost-saving efficiency and quality of patient care at the point of care. For more information, please visit www.mmodal.com, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. WVU Medicine unites the physicians of West Virginia University with the hospitals, clinics, and health professionals of the West Virginia University Health System. Together, they are a national leader in patient safety and quality, and are unified and driven by a passion to provide the most advanced healthcare possible to the people of West Virginia and beyond. WVU Medicine includes the physicians, specialists, and sub-specialists of the West Virginia University School of Medicine; the affiliated schools of the WVU Health Sciences Center; four community hospitals; three critical access hospitals; and a children's hospital, all anchored by a 645-bed academic medical center that offers tertiary and quaternary care.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Four major health systems, including Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center (Conn.), Singing River Health System (Miss.), SLUCare Physician Group (Mo.) and WVU Medicine (W. Va.), went live with Surescripts National Record Locator Service (NRLS) to equip providers with fast and easy access to clinical records for 230 million patients and four billion nationwide patient visit locations. This latest expansion comes on the heels of recent deployments of Surescripts NRLS across eight large health systems. NRLS now reaches patients in all 50 states and is live in 10 major metropolitan areas, including Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis and Portland, Ore. “As consumers of healthcare, patients are demanding a more connected healthcare experience,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “Our goal is to accelerate provider adoption of critical data-sharing technologies to increase patient safety, lower costs and ensure quality care. With Surescripts National Record Locator Service, these healthcare organizations have access to actionable patient intelligence, and can make faster and better decisions to ultimately improve patient care.” As part of the Carequality framework, NRLS automatically queries Carequality implementer locations, allowing providers to electronically share data across technology platforms and networks. By enabling access to critical patient health information within existing electronic health record (EHR) workflows, providers can easily identify and share patient records across disparate systems and geographies to focus more time on delivering quality patient care. With this latest expansion of NRLS, thousands of healthcare providers across the country are harnessing the ability to identify previous care locations, share and retrieve nationwide clinical records and effectively get a more complete picture of patients’ medical histories. The health systems that are now enabled for NRLS to provide care to thousands of patients, including: “Since deploying Surescripts National Record Locator Service in January, our care teams are already seeing the benefits of having real-time access to valuable clinical information, no matter where a patient previously received treatment,” said C. Steven Wolf, M.D., Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. “We look forward to continuing to harness the benefits of NRLS to ensure that our patients receive top-quality care, in every circumstance.” NRLS meets the demands of patients seeking a more connected healthcare experience, as evidenced by their responses to Surescripts’ 2016 Connected Care and the Patient Experience survey. The survey revealed that: For more information on Surescripts National Record Locator Service, please visit Surescripts Booth #6660 or the Interoperability Showcase at the 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 19-23 or click here. About Surescripts Our purpose is to serve the nation with the single most trusted and capable health information network. Since 2001, Surescripts has led the movement to turn health data into actionable intelligence to increase patient safety, lower costs and ensure quality care. Visit us at www.surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2015

As magnetically confined plasmas progress towards ignition and very long pulse experiments, the physics of the pedestal and divertor regions has become increasingly important. There is a critical need for comprehensive measurements in boundary layer plasmas and the importance of such measurements to the improvement of predictive numerical simulations. The focus of this proposal is the direct, spatially resolved, measurement of the energy spectra of ions in the edge of a plasma using in-situ probes that are easily replaced and require minimal resources. This will be accomplished by the development of a Micro Scale Ion Spectrometer. In the Phase I research, a proof of concept device will be fabricated and tested. This device will be constructed of sensing elements of the same size as a fully functional device and hence provide a very high degree of confidence in the applicability of this instrument. The benefits of a successful completion of Phase I and Phase II are significant in that the resulting sensor and instrument of a new Micro Ion Spectrometer which will exhibit extremely small size and low power consumption and which can be positioned and manipulated easily inside sealed chambers such as plasma and related vacuum process chambers. The MIS sensor has the potential to play a useful role in fundamental physic plasma research such as in fusion plasma devices and in the broader community of plasma physics and chemistry research at national research laboratories, private industry, and universities. The extended commercial applications include the gamut of plasma processes as used in semiconductor manufacturing technologies. It is thought that all plasma processing equipment are a potential site for on-board OEM packages of the MIS that could fulfill the need for real time in-situ plasma sensing. Future developments of the sensor will be that of a Micro Mass Spectrometer. The extension to semiconductor device processing will help create semiconductor structures that will lead to new and novel devices. In space based applications, such as being a part of the instrumentation package for CubeSats and other micro-satellites, the new device can be used to yield new information about energetic charged particles ion the heliosphere and magnetosphere and thereby support the expanding field of space weather research. Early warnings of space weather events are critically needed for space-based communications infrastructure and ground-based electrical distribution networks.

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