Amy Rockwood and Chris Datsikas Win Student Design Competition Award

Students Chris Datsikas and Amy Rockwood took third place last week in the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Student Design Competition, held in Tampa, Fla.

Datsikas, a senior electrical engineering major, and Rockwood, a senior mechanical engineering major developed CardiSim, a novel simulation platform for training healthcare providers to effectively use an external pacemaker in treating life-threatening cardiac events. A temporary external pacemaker is used to treat arrhythmia in post-operative patients who come out of open-heart surgery. However, there is no appropriate training platform for it. The current standard of education involves lectures, which lack dynamic-real time feedback. The alternative is training on real patients, Datsikas said, which puts them at risk. CardiSim, which they developed in the John Klingenstein ’50 Design Lab in the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, is designed to fill the gap in training methods.

The project began as part of the Medical Device Design & Innovation course last fall and has been a collaboration between SEAS, Yale-New Haven Hosptial, and the SYN:APSE Simulation Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where they worked with physician mentor Dr. Stephanie Sudikoff. Future work involves doing official user trials at the hospital.

Dr. Jean Zheng, who co-teaches Medical Device Design with Dr. Joe Zinter, said the work of Rockwood and Datsikas was a great way to represent the course.

"Joe and I are very proud," she said. "This project was a good fit for the competition. It was the first year that they were doing a student design competition, and this year it was with a focus on instrumentation."