Diffuse Optics Seeking an Ideal Value-Added Clinical Application: Exploratory Research for Pediatric Settings
September 15th, 2021 KYLE COWDRICK Georgia Institute of Technology

In the past few decades, diffuse optical spectroscopies (DOS) have experienced a substantial evolution in theoretical advancement, technical development, and clinical research that have demonstrated not only feasibility for beside cerebral neuromonitoring but also have explored a vast array of applications in which DOS may provide unique insights into the management of patient care. Despite the demonstrated utility of DOS as non-invasive, label-free, light-based sensing technologies to offer a possible cost-effective solution to unmet clinical needs in pediatric medicine, significant barriers inhibiting successful translation of these tools from the research setting to routine clinical adoption remain. Prior technology transfer successes with firstgeneration DOS technologies—continuous-wave NIRS (e.g., Medtronic’s INVOS 5100c Oximeter, Edwards Life Sciences’ Fore-Sight Elite, etc.)– are inspiring demonstrations that there are unmet clinical needs that with the right technology platform combined with outcomes-based clinical research, can bridge the commercialization gap. However, for practitioners of Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopies (DCS) and “third-generation” DOS platforms (i.e., time-domain NIRS, interferometric DCS), our field is at a crossroads to realize our dream of achieving the translation of next generation technology into clinical practice. In essence, we must provide more clarity in the clinical value proposition of DOS and DCS-based neuromonitoring. In this talk, I will discuss my work in pediatric clinical care highlighting a subset of my current research aiming to 1) demonstrate the ability of frequency-domain NIRS & DCS to detect signs of preventable adverse outcomes in pediatric cardiac arrest and 2) expand the capability of fdNIRS/DCS to quantify previously unexplored cerebral vital signs, namely cerebrovascular reactivity. My work seeks to identify a compelling argument demonstrating the clinical value of next generation neuromonitoring to pediatric clinical stakeholders and ultimately, support the use case for further investments in technology commercialization.

Kyle R. Cowdrick is a 5th year biomedical engineering doctoral candidate at Georgia Tech and Emory University. He received his Master’s in Bioengineering Innovation and Design at The Johns Hopkins University and is a founding member of venture-backed SpineAlign Surgical, LLC. Kyle also is an engineering educator and serves as the New Partnerships Liaison for Georgia Tech’s BME Capstone senior design program. His research focuses on early-stage feasibility studies to assess the translational and commercial viability of diffuse optics in critical care. For more information, please visit:

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 13:00. Online (Zoom)

Hosted by Prof Turgut Durduran