UCLA https://www.uclahealth.org has been awarded a grant from the U.S Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration https://www.eda.gov to create a regional hub to develop medical technology and digital tools.
The “Regional Innovation Strategies i6 Challenge Award” for $750,000 was matched by UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine https://medschool.ucla.edu at UCLA, to provide $1.5 million in total funding over three years.
The funding will support the launch of the UCLA’s “Biodesign Hub for Medical Technology and Digital Health Innovations”. The goal is for the Hub is to position UCLA as a regional center for innovation in southern California in partnership with technology companies.
Medtronic, Google, Samsung, and other companies are supporting the regional initiative since they recognize that medical technology requires support from many industry segments. “By supporting academic pursuits that focus on medical technology, Medtronic hopes to strengthen local talent and capabilities in southern California,” said Rebecca Gottlieb, Vice President of Research and Technology for the Diabetes Group, at Medtronic headquartered in Northridge California.
In addition, UCLA https://www.uclahealth.org has signed an agreement with Theseus AI, a LA based startup formed to commercialize technology developed at UCLA, to use AI to interpret MRI scans of patients’ spines. Developed by UCLA researchers, the software suite will provide healthcare professionals with data to help diagnose and treat back pain and help to identify people who would be candidates for spine surgery.
The agreement with Theseus AI was facilitated by UCLA’s Technology Development Group, https://tdg.ucla.edu managing UCLA’s intellectual property portfolio and funded in part by the UCLA Innovation Fund https://www.techandinnovation.ucla.edu .The project led by Dr. Luke Macyszn, a Neurosurgeon at the UCLA Spine Center, has created an algorithm trained by machine learning to provide objective measurements of spinal stenosis from MRIs.
The algorithm also compares the measurements to patients of the same gender and similar age and height to determine the degree of the disease. The Theseus AI will integrate the algorithm into picture archiving, communications systems, and EHRs to provide radiologists, surgeons, and primary care physicians with accurate and consistent identification and measurements of key features of the spine.
Theseus AI builds software to improve the identification, consistency and accuracy of anatomical measurements and to deliver accurate consistent data to clinicians. According to Tomas Lipkin, the Technology Development Group’s Director of the UCLA Innovation Fund and new ventures, “This is one of several projects from the UCLA Innovation Fund that we believe can be successfully commercialized to advance medical care.”