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Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies set to expand telemedicine for Parkinson's treatment

For the last several years, Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies (GLNT) has been using telemedicine technology to study Parkinson's disease. The Cleveland-based provider of patient-centered diagnostic and therapy systems is planning to expand its approach by adding real-time video conferencing to its existing Kinesia HomeView™ innovation.
 
The technology is currently under development at GLNT with clinical validation studies planned for this fall. Adding video conferencing to currently available remote monitoring of Parkinson's patients will keep patients engaged in treatment, says Dr. Dustin Heldman, biomed research manager at GLNT.
 
"Patients will be more likely to take medications when they're supposed to, and (through the system) will be assessed more regularly," says Heldman.  Through the video feed, patients living far from treatment centers won't have to make potentially pricey trips for medication adjustments and other routine maintenance, notes the technology group research manager.
 
The current Kinesia system includes motion sensors patients wear and a broadband integrated tablet which users employ to follow video instructions and complete motor assessments. Telemedicine is a growing healthcare market trend designed to improve patient care and accessibility. Applications include live video conferencing, remote monitoring and store and forward technologies.   
 
This type of technology is especially useful for monitoring Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative movement disorder that can afflict its sufferers with a variety tremors, slowed movements and gait abnormities. These symptoms can change daily in type and severity, making a patient's condition difficult to determine during a short office visit. Creating a visualization tool for such a complex disease will only help in its treatment, Heldman says.
 

Source: Dr. Dustin Heldman
Writer: Douglas J. Guth


Cincinnati-based MoveMX to innovate mobile gaming

Cincinnati is home to MoveMX, a video game development team that is creating motion-responsive games for mobile devices.

While current generation console gaming platforms already have the ability to recognize body movement in relation to their game’s generated characters and environments, MoveMX is determined to bring that same vitality and energy to tablets and cell phones. By utilizing the devices’ built-in cameras, the games can be controlled through body movement.

MoveMx was created to provide a more immersive mobile gameplay experience,” says Zak Nordyke, founder of MoveMX. “We wanted to give mobile gamers the opportunity to use their bodies as the gamepad. We didn't like the idea of young gamers craning their necks and tapping buttons as the only way to enjoy content.”

Nordyke’s team is currently developing its first title, “The Chronicles of Glover.” It will be an action platform game centered around a young man named Glover who discovers mysterious body armor that grants him heightened abilities. The game is currently in demo stages and is slated to be available to play late August.

Dedicated to stimulating gamers beyond the simple pressing of buttons, MoveMX is lending a hand to the mobile industry by innovating its current technology.

We wanted to bring the motion gaming experience to mobile,” says Nordyke. "It allows users to play movement tracking games everywhere.”

Healthier and more physically engaging than traditional gamepad-controlled video games of yesteryear, motion-tracking with video games is a step (or swing of the hip) in the right direction for the often sedentary video game industry. 


By Sean Peters

Innovative TREWGrip simplifies mobile typing

TREWGrip Mobile QWERTY is an innovative device designed to simplify the labor of typing on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Invented by Mark Parker, president of TREWGrip LLC  (a subsidiary of Outlier Technologies), this unit works in conjunction with any devices that accommodate bluetooth syncing. The phone or tablet is physically attached (not permanently) to the Mobile QWERTY via the micro-suction dock, where a wireless bluetooth connection enables the device to interface.


“I’ve been doing software development for mobile workers for years,” Parker says. “We hope people realize that the “hunt and peck typing” technique doesn’t work. I think we’ve reached the point where people realize this technology is limiting. It isn’t a software problem … it’s a hardware problem.”

A rear-typing keyboard allows the user to easily hold the Mobile QWERTY with both hands while typing at similar rates to traditional keyboards. Some practice is necessary to truly get the hang of it, which is why TREWGrip offers training exercises and games. Having developed the device from scratch, Parker worked to ensure it could be easily held by hands of all sizes by equipping the device with multiple sizes of removable hand grips on the side.

TREWGrip, a Cincinnati-based company, recently launched a kickstarter campaign to help fund the product’s initial run. 

By Sean M. Peters

Chase Bank's new Cincinnati location features cutting-edge technology

Chase Bank, one of the largest in the world, has opened its newest Cincinnati branch at 219 Calhoun St., in the new U Square development on the University of Cincinnati’s campus. This new branch is the second location in southern Ohio to feature the bank’s new express banking kiosks.
 
“The U Square branch is very special to us because it’s located right here on the Bearcat campus,” says branch manager Fabian Tunson. “Research has shown us that consumers, especially of this generation, really enjoy using technology. And this branch is right for anyone interested in some of the newest technology, including the express banking kiosks.”
 
The express banking kiosks are similar to ATMs but with a touchscreen user interface that is similar to a tablet and a much wider range of functionality. Some of these additional functions include check-cashing, withdrawals in multi-denominations ($1, $5, $20 and $50 bills) up to $1000, credit card bill paying services and the option to purchase money orders.
 
The kiosks are part of Chase’s larger overall goal to introduce innovative ways to meet customers’ needs. About 400 of these kiosks exist around the country currently, and the number is expected to double by the end of the year.
 
“We are very proud to be serving customers on the UC campus and in the Cincinnati community,” says Emily Smith, Director of Media Relations for JPMorgan Chase. While Chase has nearly 300 branches and 23,000 employees in Ohio, this new branch marks the company's first bank location in Clifton.
 
“The branch will be very convenient for students, but it’s also in a great location to serve the residents and small businesses in the area,” Tunson says.


Michael Sarason

Seventh healthcare organization joins Cleveland Clinic HC Innovation Alliance

Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI) announced last month that Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences is the seventh clinic to join the Clinic’s Healthcare Innovation Alliance. The collaboration will help Marshfield develop and commercialize its innovations and improve healthcare.
 
The alliance, formed two years ago based on CCI’s 13 years of experience, is a way for the Clinic to share its knowledge while also improving upon its reputation within the healthcare industry. In Marshfield’s case, the Clinic is hiring a senior commercialization officer who will be embedded in Wisconsin.
 
The officer will help to advance diagnostic tools and treatments created by Marshfield Clinic physicians, researchers and staff. The Innovation Alliance also will foster the transfer of Marshfield Clinic technology into commercialization.
 
“It’s about getting the technology quickly to the patient,” says Brian Kolonick, associate general manager of the Innovation Alliance. “It’s all collaboration, these are not bilateral relationships. We look for ways to collaborate, to share knowledge.”
 
There are 65 Clinic employees working within the alliance. “If someone in the alliance has an idea, we get a person on the ground there,” says Kolonick. “We find the right person with the right expertise. It’s getting the right people to the table.”
 
Conversely, the Clinic also learns about what other researchers are doing around the country. “We’re about going in there and getting fresh ideas, flushing them out and commercializing them,” says Kolonick. “It’s about getting in there and shaking trees.”
 
The Innovation Alliance gets a percentage of the revenues from any idea that goes to market.
 

Source: Brian Kolonick
Writer: Karin Connelly


The world's most powerful MRI lands in northeast Ohio

After more than a two-year wait and construction of its very own building, the Cleveland Clinic took delivery of and installed a 7 Tesla full-body MRI last month. It is the only one of its kind in northeast Ohio, and one of only about a dozen in the country.
 
While the 1.5 Tesla MRI is more common, and the Clinic even has several 3 Tesla MRIs, the 7 Tesla provides a better look, even down to the cellular level. “It has special resolution where we can actually see much finer detail than a 3 Tesla or 1.5 Tesla,” says Mark Lowe, director of high field MRI at the Clinic. “With this higher special resolution you can see things you’ve never seen before.”
 
The MRI will be used for neuroscience research into disorders such a multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. The finer detail will allow researchers to see focal dysplasia in epilepsy patients, or greater vascular detail in angiography. The acquisition of the new machine created two new jobs, with the potential for more future jobs with grant funding.
 
“The bottom line is, for years MRI has been very good at imaging soft tissue contrast, but it’s not as good in spatial resolution,” says Lowe. “This provides that spatial resolution.”
 
It was no easy task to get the 40-ton machine to Cleveland. Lowe and his team secured funding for the $10.5 million endeavor two and a half years ago. It was scheduled for delivery in December. But a shortage of helium, which is used to cool the MRI magnet, caused further delays.
 
The 7 Tesla is housed in a specially constructed building next to the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis. The roof was lifted off the building to lower the MRI into place, which also comes with 350 miles of superconducting wire.

 
Source: Mark Lowe
Writer: Karin Connelly

CLE-based BoxCast to expand courtesy of JumpStart investment

When Gordon Daily founded BoxCast in 2008 after a funeral director asked his business partners to create a way for family members to privately observe funeral services at his chapel, he had no idea the concept of simple, live streaming video would be so popular.
 
Today, business is booming, especially in the church and on athletic fields. BoxCast allows anyone with a camera to stream live video to BoxCast’s cloud-based service. Users can then watch the video anytime, anywhere.
 
“We have eclectic audiences looking to do things they’ve never been able to do before,” explains Daily. “It’s simple and affordable because no one has to be a technical expert to stream live video.”
 
With JumpStart’s recent $250,000 investment, things are moving even more quickly. “The JumpStart funding was the jump start of our company, it really was,” says Daily. “Until we had the funding, we couldn’t do what we really needed to do.”
 
What BoxCast needed to do was hire the right people to implement and market the company’s technology and build the right business relationships. “Now, it’s all happening,” says Daily. “The pieces are coming together. A lot of partnerships are coming together.”
 
Daily says a lot of high schools, colleges and churches are interested in BoxCast for their sporting events and other activities. But he says he’s also seen a lot of unique potential customers surfacing. “There are a lot of neat ideas -- interesting and unique entertainment venues that never had video,” he says. “People with specific, eclectic interests that didn’t realize they could do it.”
 
BoxCast has grown to 12 employees and Daily is looking for an administrative person to help around the office. To accommodate the growth, BoxCast recently moved into a 4,000-square-foot office at Burke Lakefront Airport.

 
Source: Gordon Daily
Writer: Karin Connelly


Researchers at Cleveland Clinic and CWRU restore bladder function in rats with spinal cord injuries

Researchers at CWRU School of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have discovered a way to restore bladder function in rats with severe spinal cord injuries. Jerry Silver, professor of neurosciences at CWRU School of Medicine, and Yu-Shang Lee, assistant staff scientist in the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, paired a traditional nerve bridge graft with scar degrading and growth factor treatments to grow new nerve cells. 

The neural bridge spans the gap between the severed sections of the spinal cord -- from the thoracic region to the lower spinal cord. The new nerve cells regrew in the bridge, which allowed the rats to regain bladder control. 
 
“It’s exciting news for us,” says Lee, who has been working on this research for the past 10 years. He cites a bladder control survey in which spinal cord injury patients ranked bladder control in the top two most important concerns -- higher than motor or sensory function. “It’s new hope for future treatments.”

The team’s work was detailed in the June 26 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Lee and Silver plan to test their method on larger animals before moving on to human trials in a few years. Silver and Lee hope their research will ultimately result in restoration of bodily functions in paralyzed humans.

 
Source: Yu-Shang Lee
Writer: Karin Connelly


Techie volunteers help 18 nonprofits at Give Camp 2013

The fourth annual Cleveland Give Camp was held this weekend on the LeanDog boat by Burke Lakefront Airport. From Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21, volunteers helped 18 chosen non-profits with their software and web-based application projects.
 
In addition to the developers, project managers, designers, creative professionals and other techies, Give Camp techie volunteers do everything from making sure everyone is well fed to cleaning up. “Each project team leader, project manager... Every single person who works on Give Camp is a volunteer,” explains spokesperson Amy Wong. “It’s a way for people with a unique set of skills to give back.”
 
But the people involved in Give Camp, many of which come back year after year, also have fun. Many pitch tents for the weekend, while others simply go without sleeping. The event is also a great techie networking opportunity.
 
“It’s fun, you get to spend the weekend on the lake with a great view,” says Wong. “You meet a lot of great people you never met before and hang with some really smart people. People get sucked in by the non-profits they work with.”
 
Some of the non-profits receiving help on their projects this year include the Free Clinic, LAND Studio, Malachi House and the May Dugan Center. In addition to LeanDog and Burke hosting the event, 12 additional companies sponsored Give Camp, including Arras Keathley, Explorys, JumpStart and Hyland Software.

“We’re really grateful to all of our sponsors,” says Wong. “They give us everything. They feed us breakfast, lunch and dinner and a special treat on Saturday night.”
 

Source: Amy Wong
Writer: Karin Connelly 


MidTown Cleveland establishes endowment to further boost area development

The two square miles of real estate between downtown Cleveland and University Circle are bursting with development. To ensure that work continues to flourish, a local nonprofit has established an endowment fund.

Last month, economic development corporation MidTown Cleveland, Inc. announced the creation of the MidTown Cleveland, Inc. Endowment Fund at the Cleveland Foundation. The fund, under the foundation's guidance, proposes to build a sustainable revenue source to secure continued activity in the burgeoning district. This will include promotion of the health-tech corridor, a three-mile expanse of hospitals, business incubators, educational institutions and high-tech companies situated within MidTown.

The growing tech corridor isn't the only project the fund will support, notes MidTown chairman John Melchiorre. The group plans to leave other "footprints" on the community as well, be they demolishing old buildings, planting flowers along Euclid Avenue or helping transform distressed properties into job-creating enterprises.

"The Cleveland Foundation has been a leading supporter of the revitalization of Midtown, so this is just the latest way our two organizations have joined forces for the betterment of that neighborhood," said Kaye Ridolfi, senior vice president of advancement at the Cleveland Foundation.

Founded by Cleveland businessman Mort Mandel and others some 30 years ago, MidTown Cleveland has helped develop the area into a business district home to 600 companies and 18,000 employees. Executive director Jim Haviland views MidTown as part of the city's renaissance, and believes the fund will sustain the region for decades to come.

"It helps us to continue the role we play" within the neighborhood, says Haviland.

 
Sources: John Melchiorre, Jim Haviland, Kaye Ridolfi
Writer: Douglas J. Guth


Blue Ash-based Gaslight leads effort to create training program for Ruby app developers

Tech talent in Cincinnati is in high demand but in short supply in some areas. And as the local tech startup economy grows, so does the need for cutting-edge developer talent.

One local mobile and web app development company is leading an effort to develop talent in its corner of the tech world. Blue Ash-based Gaslight is teaming up with Cincinnati-area industry and entrepreneurial leaders to start a training program for app developers using the Ruby on Rails platform.

Gaslight specializes in developing apps through Ruby on Rails. The growing company, which has more than a dozen developers, creates apps and other software applications for growing startups and established brands.

Gaslight co-founder and Ruby developer Bill Barnett says the idea is a practical one. Ruby has become a popular app development platform, and it's become harder for Ruby developers, including Gaslight, to keep up with client demand.

"There is a need for Ruby on Rails support that the market is not meeting at the moment," he says.

The training program is aimed at bringing new developers into the field, and would last about six months. This type of web development school is emerging in several cities across the United States—gSchool in Denver is one of the best known. GSchool is a model for Cincinnati to follow, Barnett says.

"We want to create an avenue for people who want to get into software development, and maybe come from other disciplines," Barnett says. "They might be a recent college graduate who has a degree in medicine or law but has an entrepreneurial inkling. They could be returning from overseas, transitioning from a military career."

Gaslight is still in the planning stages, but it has a record of leadership in the Cincinnati web community, and has hosted several developer Meetups and is the lead organizer of the Queen City Merge conference. Gaslight is working with a number of interested groups to get it off the ground, including NeoGirl Develop It and The Brandery.

No firm date has been set for the training program's launch, but a goal is to start a group of 20-25 students by late this year or early next.

Find out more about Gaslight and what it has to offer at Web School Cincinnati.


By Feoshia H. Davis

Cincinnati Digital Xchange explores latest strategies, techniques in digital marketing

Top digital marketing trends, techniques and strategies are ever-evolving. New tools, networks, devices and technologies make the rapidly changing space competitive and dynamic. You master one (or five) techniques, and then a new one comes along.

Keeping up with those tools and getting the best out of them is the foundation of a new group, Cincinnati Digital Xchange, which meets once a month to explore the ins and outs of the digital marketing space.

The Xchange was founded by a group of local digital marketing experts as an open place where people can learn and swap ideas. It began as a web analytics group but expanded to include other dimensions of digital marketing as well.

"We decided we wanted to bring in more people in the digital industry," says Xchange's co-founder Russ Shirley, a digital marketing consultant. "We'd focus on social, local, mobile—anything trending or coming up."

The group meets the last Tuesday of each month at Cintrifuse, the region's newest corporate-backed startup investment fund and incubator.

The group has had some impressive, on-trend speakers, including inaugural speaker J.B. Kropp, Brandery co-founder and Twitter V.P. of Strategic Partnerships (and Cincinnatian), who spoke about engagement and how brands are leveraging the platform.

Other speakers include marketing pros from Cincinnati powerhouses like dunnhumby, Possible, Empower MediaMarketing, Rockfish Interactive and Procter & Gamble.

The group has grown quickly—some months, meetings attract more than 100 people. The meetings are free, and Xchange receives major support from Cintrifuse, Empower MediaMarketing and CincyTech.

"The main goal is kind of self-serving," Shirley says. "I wanted to get information that I want to learn, find out things that are not usually accessible to anyone who is outside of an agency."

The next meeting is set for July 30. Details are available on the group's Meetup page.


Writer: Feoshia H. Davis

Bluebridge Networks announces $6m tech investment, plans to double staff

BlueBridge Networks isn’t trying to be the biggest cloud-based data storage and recovery company; the Cleveland-based company simply wants to be the best for its customers. To ensure that it is, BlueBridge recently announced a $6 million investment in technology to build the best network and facilities possible.

“We are controlling our own destiny,” explains managing director and partner Kevin Goodman. “We’re building our network to be cheaper, better and faster. Over time, the $6 million will be about time, talent and treasure.”
 
The three key players at BlueBridge -- Goodman, CFO Phillip Weihe, and director of operations Petar Bojovic -- sat down and made a plan for strategic growth that includes hardware and software improvements, updates to facilities and hiring the right people to make it all happen.
 
“The three of us strategically put together what we have to do to build it better,” says Goodman. “It’s a terrific time for us. Our focus has always been the next step. We always look at operational excellence, but we’re also always poised for growth.”
 
Pat Garcia, associate partner of technology at Rosetta, one of BlueBridge’s long-term customers, backs up Goodman’s mission to be the best provider to its customers. “We’ve really had a good experience with their response time,” Garcia says. “They are service oriented and all about customers and getting things done right.”
 
In addition to its Cleveland headquarters, Bluebridge has data centers in Mayfield Heights, Columbus and, more recently, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Goodman says the centers are all located on the line of the technology telecom track and centrally located. The bulk of the investment will be in the Cleveland headquarters, Goodman says, where the majority of the cloud platform is located. The new and improved platform is called bCloud2.0.
 
BlueBridge currently has 14 employees and 30 contractors. Goodman says they plan to bring on 15 additional people this year, and already are hiring people from all over the country.

 
Source: Kevin Goodman
Writer: Karin Connelly


Annual Sensor Summit to offer free registration, high tech networking in Dayton

The Ohio Innovation Sensor Summit offers a new benefit this year -- free registration to the state's annual showcase of sensor technology to be held June 25-27 in Dayton.

The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) will host the event convening scientists, engineers, investors and others to spur collaboration and business opportunities within the technology. The summit gathers hundreds of sensor enthusiasts from industry, academia and governmental and military agencies for networking and to drive research commercialization.

"Attendees are going to realize that sensors have barely scratched the surface of the commercial market," says summit organizer Gil Pacey of UDRI's sensor system division. "This area is well positioned to take advantage of technologies such as biomedical, biomarker, security and cyber-security." The event will include educational sessions and exhibits on those topics and other emerging applications such as human factors, photonics, thin film and surface research.

Pacey notes sensors are crucial to ensure the functioning and maintenance of machinery. "Industry needs tons of sensors to make their product lines work better," he says. "Attendees might find some sensor technology OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to make their system better."

Sensor technology has been a major focus of the Ohio Third Frontier program. This year's summit will feature a UDRI-led partnership that recently won a $3 million OTF grant to improve surveillance systems used by law enforcement, campus security and government facilities.

Events will be held at the UDRI headquarters and various locations in downtown Dayton. Interested parties should email names of attendees and the affiliate organization to Yulie Halim.


Writer: Tom Prendergast

Ohio Third Frontier awards $3 million to University of Dayton for advanced sensor tech development

Ohio Third Frontier has awarded the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) $3 million to continue development of an advanced situational awareness platform that will be compatible with multiple sensor products.
 
Situational awareness systems refer to products with sensors that respond to environmental changes, such as seismic waves, infrared light and motion. Kevin Klawon, a software systems group leader at UDRI, gives the example of a camera that responds to someone entering a backyard.
 
Currently, customers such as law enforcement, border patrol or first responders have to approach different manufacturers for different needs. Klawon’s team, however, envisions a simpler solution that is now within reach thanks largely to the Third Frontier award.
 
“We actually have a platform that we’re building where you can just plug sensors in and the platform itself will be able to understand what kind of sensor it is,” Klawon explains. He anticipates substantial savings for customers who will only have to invest in one platform that can be reconfigured depending on changing needs. In all, Klawon expects the software development to result in 30 new jobs over a three-year period.
 
Klawon insists the idea isn’t revolutionary. Over time, he says, technology tends to find ways to integrate into one, simple package; but it has yet to be done in the emerging field of situational awareness systems. Klawon believes UDRI's work in the field will further reinforce Dayton’s growing national reputation as a leader in sensor development.
 
“This is a market the Dayton region has started to develop,” says Klawon. “We lost most of our automotive sector, so others have had to come up. I think this is one of the emerging sectors that will prove to help the region and become what the Dayton region is known for.”
 
 
Source: Kevin Klawon
Writer: Joe Baur
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