Advancing Assistive Technology Development Through Research - Bioengineering Students Highlight
by Chelane Garcia-HerradaApr 4, 2022
Three Bioengineering students have recently joined the CIDE research lab. Learn more about their projects and how CIDE is helping them develop new assistive technologies through research.
Anthony DiSaverio is a senior in the Bioengineering program. He is a Colorado native and has a passion for all things outdoors including skiing, backpacking, hiking, and more. After completing his undergraduate degree, he would like to enter the med-tech industry.
Anthony's research project:
CIDE’s project SOARR (Supporting Older Adults through Relationships and Resources with Technology) was initiated to support older adults in learning and using technology to reduce social isolation and loneliness. The goal of this project is to train and empower tech mentors and coaches who can provide resources and support for older adults across the state. Anthony’s role thus far has included helping with drafting the training materials that will be provided to technology mentors, drafting mock user personas and relevant learning experiences for mentors, as well as reference management. Moving forward, he’s excited to be able to manage these tech mentors and provide support for them once they are on-boarded and begin working through the curriculum.
Karl Larson is a senior undergraduate and first-year graduate student in the Bioengineering BS/MS program. His current focus is on Socially Assistive Robots (SAR). In his free time, he likes hiking, fishing, and playing board games.Karl's research project:
Within the CIDE lab, Karl is working on an exciting project to support young children with Cerebral Palsy (CP). CP is a group of disorders that affect an individual’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is a common pediatric disorder occurring in 2-2.5 births per 1000 live births. Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) have been designed as a method to help develop adherence to therapeutic motor activities—both at home and in the clinic. Karl is developing a dynamic facial expression display designed to elicit a positive response for pediatric patients with CP. An increase in SAR-associated attention may increase a pediatric patients’ motivation and engagement with therapy. Dynamic face display development for use in SARs for pediatric patients with CP may encourage a child’s motivation and help them respond more positively to therapy by increasing attention and feedback.
Aria Saunders is a senior undergraduate and first-year graduate student in the Bioengineering BS/MS program. She hopes to one day work in the research and development of medical technology for people with diabetes or other diseases/disabilities to improve their quality of life. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time outdoors and playing the piano, flute, and other musical instruments.
Aria's research project:
Intensive insulin therapy and certain type 2 diabetes drugs necessary for the treatment of diabetes are also associated with higher risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Hypoglycemia can lead to impaired judgement, confusion, reduced vision and coma or seizures if not treated immediately. Due to these effects of hypoglycemia, motor vehicular accidents are twice more common in people with diabetes than people without diabetes. Within the CIDE lab, Aria is collaborating with physicians at the Barbara Davis Center to develop an interface tool designed to reduce vehicular accidents in people with diabetes. The purpose of her project is to develop a simple, user-friendly tool that can read blood glucose data from a continuous glucose monitor and deliver personalized, automotive alerts to drivers who are at a higher risk for vehicular accidents due to hypoglycemia. The development of such a tool could provide a lifesaving solution for minimizing the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents due to untreated or unrecognized hypoglycemia.