Exploring New Ideas

INSTINCT Think Tank sessions offer INSTINCT members a chance to openly discuss and explore new ideas and avenues of thought amongst their peers in a productive and collaborative environment. These sessions are held every two months and are based on a particular theme. See previous themes below. Think Tank sessions also act as a means of monitoring INSTINCT projects and developments.

Previous INSTINCT Think Tank Themes:

October 2018 – Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

Overview: Guest speaker, Jim Havelka, CEO of InformAI, gave a comprehensive and insightful overview of innovative and game-changing ideas in relation to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare. InformAI provides its healthcare clients with business analytics, medical image processing and AI solutions to assist in improving patient outcomes and operational efficiency. Previous examples of how InformAI have collaborated with Baylor (radiology) and the importance of data acquisition and formatting were given.

August 2018 – “MedTeking with AR/VR

Overview: Jonathan Avila, co-founder at Core Simulations, and his team discussed innovative and game-changing ideas in relation to Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR). Core Simulations is a Houston-based development group that focus on the value AR/VR technology can bring to industries outside of gaming. For example, their physical rehab software is a digital health solution that utilizes VR to improve patient compliance and introduce a new data-driven assessment tool for private physical therapy clinics.

Outcome: A hands-on AR/VR day workshop was organized at Baylor to allow people to be fully immersed in the world of AR/VR on a variety of platforms.

June 2018 – “Innovations in Global Surgery

Overview: Rachel W. Davis, M.D., gave an overview and first-hand account of Baylor’s Global Surgery Track -  a two-year general surgery based residency program that incorporates international, rural and subspecialty skills—the first of its kind on the country. Dr. Davis illustrated significant clinical problems and needs encountered within rural and low-resource settings in a bid to foster new approaches and innovative solutions.

Outcome: INSTINCT in collaboration with Dr. Davis was pleased to announce the sponsorship of a Rice Global Health Capstone Design project entitled “Global Health Solutions for Laparoscopic Surgery”. The sponsorship allows a team of senior design students to work on a low-resource, low-cost laparoscopic system that is durable, sustainable, and either serializable or recyclable. Results will be showcased at the 2019 Engineering Design Showcase.

February 2018 – “Preventing Surgical Errors

Overview: Guest Speaker, Joshua Mecca, president and founder of M&S Biotics, gave an overview and demonstration of their Biotic™ Integration system – a RF-identification and artificial intelligence based technology with the ability to detect, count, track, and locate surgical items in real-time. Their technology alleviates the need to conduct lengthy inventory protocols and helps mitigate internal retention of misplaced surgical tools.

December 2017 - "Next-Generation Trauma Care"

Overview: New ideas, concepts and plausible design approaches to automated vascular access, automated needle thoracostomy, and closed loop resuscitation, closed-loop Functional Hemodynamic Monitoring (FHM)-driven resuscitation to infuse blood, fluids and vasoactive drugs and other critical care patient management interventions. 

Outcome: INSTINCT members successfully worked on and submitted a 1.3 million dollar grant application on the theme of "Smart-Trauma-Wear." Principal staff at Baylor included Drs. S. Rob Todd, James Suliburk, Chad Wilson, and Jamie Fitch. Partnering institutions included The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (Cambridge, Maine) and Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, Ore.). With a 'conception to grant submission' time of 50 days, this sets the benchmark for INSTINCT turnaround times. Provisional patent filings are underway. 

June 2017 – “Outer Space Surgery”

Overview: Guest speaker Jimmy H. Wu (associate director, Exploration Medicine Laboratory, BCM Center for Space Medicine) gave an overview of current strategies and problems associated with NASA’s outer space surgery program. Note, candidates interested in submitting proposals to the newly established NASA Translation Research Institute (NASA TRI) would have found this session most helpful.

May 2017 – “Picosecond Infrared Lasers (pIRLs)”

Overview: Guest speaker Prof R. J. Dwayne Miller (University of Toronto and Max Plank Institute) and Dr. Darren Kraemer (Light Matter Interaction, Inc.) gave an overview of pIRLs for scarless surgery and real-time biodiagnostic applications. See video overview.

February 2017 – “Organ Support Systems

Overview: Specifically, an INSTINCT Innovation Challenge was launched to foster collaboration and developments into “Artificial/replacement liver system for acute and terminal liver disease”. The discussion, led by Dr. Steven Curley, highlighted the complexity of liver functions as well as previous attempts to design artificial devices and systems that mimic liver metabolic and functional pathways. Special guest, Dr. Jim Kelly (pioneer in the field of Extracorporeal Liver Assist Device, ELAD) was also in the audience. Dr. Billy Cohn finished off the night in style by giving an outstanding update on his total artificial heart project: a modified version of the talk he gave earlier that day at JLabs entitled “Past, Present and Future of the Total Artificial Heart

Outcome: INSTINCT in collaboration with Dr Norman Sussman and Prof. Jim Kelly were awarded a $50,000 Philip A. Salem Cancer Foundation award entitled “LSS: A Novel Liver Support System for Patients with Terminal Hepatic Cancer”. Research is currently underway.

December 2016 – “Make Simulations Great Again

Overview: The topic of artificial 3D surgical simulators for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair was discussed in a bid to refine the forthcoming December surgical hackathon challenges. Dr. Swami Gnanashanmugam also gave a discussion on Gradient Therapeutics and a Novel Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension.