Congratulations to FIU’s Ata Dolatmoradi, a Ph.D. candidate and dissertation year fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Ata has been selected as a finalist for USF’s 2017 Florida Blue Healthcare Innovation Pitch Competition.

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There are 12 teams from eight universities, and Ata leads the only one representing FIU. Winners chosen by the committee receive a $1,000 award; mentorship and coaching over the summer; and the opportunity to compete for the Pitch Competition prizes in October ($10,000; $5,000; and $2,500).

This competition is about innovations focused on products and services to maintain healthy living in the confines of homes for aging populations. The annual competition is a statewide competition open to all students from across Florida. Students compete in head-to-head competition before a panel of healthcare professionals for prize monies using short, professional presentations.

Ata Dolatmoradi’s idea involves fabricating an easy-to-use pocket-size health monitoring device which operates using microfluidic technology developed in Dr. Bilal El-Zahab’s lab in FIU’s Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department. The device is currently patent pending*. The device comes with a disposable test strip and a lancing device. Upon plugging the device into a smartphone’s audio jack, the microfluidic system within the device will automatically draw in the blood droplet placed on the strip to quantify the parameters of interest in the blood, which will be then be logged and charted by the application installed on the hand-held device. Next, the application compares the measured parameters with the normal ranges, stores them on a cloud-based data storage space, and shares them with the caregivers and doctors.
This innovative idea could provide patients closer at-home monitoring for the diseases that affect red blood cells during their progression, like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, infections, neurodegenerative diseases, and many types of malignancies.

*Thermally-assisted acoustic separation of cells based on their stiffness, United States US 15/463,164 (Filed)