Non - Profit R&D Services
In 2019 PC Labs established a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, development and support of medical IoT. Called FrugalIT. Its first goal is to disrupt the medical industry - people shouldn't have to compete with profit to be assured the best medical outcome, there are some conversations profit should never enter!
For example ...Imagine a stethoscope that shares the diagnostic capabilities of a cardiac echo/ultrasound with the cost of a normal stethoscope - medical technology minus the CEO bonuses, with pharmaceutical rep expenses and shareholder dividends designed right the hell out. We will identify opportunities to minimize patient expenses until there are none.
Our primary development focus is on inexpensive IoT class medical monitoring devices, including the technical support services & training required by physicians and staff, as well as patient support services. Secondary development? No less than the reinterpretation of existing medical technology through the lens of recent advance, focused on the betterment of the patient - not the bottom line.
Our goal is to speed up rollout and implementation of such devices in our rural community - raising awareness while increasing doctor/patient confidence in the experience, ironing out any barriers we can identify and effectively address along the way. It is our view that technology can often outpace a patients comfort zone, effectively defining a new field service role with a blended medical/technical lexicon as well as the traditional & communicative skills of nursing. - but on the gripping hand, we perceive substantial concrete medical benefits with little to no patient risk or expense. We are honored to fulfill this duty until it acquires a life of its own, or we all start behaving like proper Homo Sapiens v2
Our current research also addresses data logging & privacy issues...as technological precision increases, we believe it will be necessary to sequester certain information to prevent patient bias. To that end we have implemented a hospital scale health information repository that abides by the same hardware, software and HIPPA standards as may be found protecting patient information at any modern medical facility. We would like to expand this to include new methods of cloud-based data and image analysis using tools developed by our cloud partners at Google. Amazon and Microsoft, while establishing a new standard of privacy that provides the patient and/or immediate carers with exclusive authority to share and/or profit from those results.
Currently we work with two local medical offices to provide this new tier of advice, staff training and patient support. We've completed extensive dialogue with these and other local/regional facilities in preparation for testing... phase of our newly developed devices once compliance is achieved with the numerous safety requirements of patient care areas. Careful attention is given to component design and part selection to assure that global availability, minimal parts coste and simple assembly are possible. With minimal training and a 3D printer, the most basic of medical facilities worldwide will become better equipped and more efficient at no cost to the patient.
More accurate and effective monitoring will always be a goal as products iterate. Effective interpretation of log data should be of primary concern, vs higher frequency or volume of results. Assuming a live patient is treated more frequently, avg patient resistance increases while herd immunity drops. Improving patient health reduces treatment opportunities, in turn reducing false positives (where each treatment for false positive is considered to have a negative outcome). The ideal would be one successful correction per malady, where one prescription yields perfect health for the remainder of ones life...accurate and effective interpretation of the malady is the most likely "function" to yield individually positive results that are timely enough to minimize impact of the illness as well as accurate enough to minimize impact of an inappropriate pharmacological treatment from false positive. The result should be - the fewest number of treatments correlates to the highest quantity life lived in a healthy state!
Recent experience has driven home the plethora of possibilities (and problems) present in the commodity medical IoT platform, particularly for patient monitoring. To that end we familiarized ourselves with available products, begged evaluation hardware from other developers & makers and volunteered advice to our rural medical community. We volunteered our time 1 on 1 with patients to assist in proper use (often those who benefit the most are least able), maximize results and gather feedback.
Today we volunteer our own designs as well - some to fit specific use cases, some to fill equipment gaps, reduce cost, or improve diagnostic efficiency by combining functions..like the bluetooth Beatfinder (stethoscope) with audio analysis, which we absolutely do not claim to provide amazingly accurate & echo-cardiogram like results while you wirelessly groove to that ticker (our "all tubeless" design carries a suggested retail price of only $10, directly reflecting the savings provided by elimination of tubes from the construction phase of an "all tubeless" device).
We solicit contributions to our cause - recursively giving our time and results away to those who need it most. Speaking scientifically, our research hints this may be the primary driver behind the evolution of money (in this universe*). It's certainly the best use case I've come up with for humans so far (in this universe*).
Born from a simple desire to give back to the community that fostered our entrepreneurial efforts, in turn we are rewarded time and again..and more deeply than we ever imagined. Some conversations should be deaf to profit, and profit should never speak louder than people. I lament only the 50 years it took me to realize - this is exactly what I want to do with my life, where i want to be..I am the lucky one.
Selfishly I must admit - what I viewed before as profit was in fact bereft of value. What I sought to give away is in fact my great reward...for it mends my soul :)
Medical carts, aftermarket components of superior quality and lower cost. Touch screen integration, efficiency improvements