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Nevada company, ORNL develop potential lifesaver
Date:12/20/2007

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 20, 2007 -- A Las Vegas business and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving the odds for people medically at risk from dehydration or congestive heart failure.

The task for ORNL researchers Chuck Britton, Nance Ericson and Gary Alley was to improve and miniaturize Noninvasive Medical Technologies ZOE, a medical device that monitors a persons hydration, or level of fluid. This is of great importance to members of the military and to thousands of home health care patients, athletes, firefighters and first responders.

Technologies that allow for better hydration management will improve performance, medical triage and treatment of soldiers and others who are suffering from a fluid-electrolyte imbalance, said Katy DeMarr, vice president, government relations of Noninvasive Medical Technologies.

As basic as it may seem for people to maintain proper levels of fluid, in practice it is not so simple as nationwide each year hundreds of people either die or suffer ill effects because of dehydration.

Studies have shown that up to 80 percent of troops become dehydrated while performing their duties, and thats a major concern to the military because the soldiers are not able to perform at peak levels, DeMarr said. Similarly, high school and college athletes would benefit greatly from knowing their hydration levels.

While Noninvasive Medical Technologies has a ZOE on the market, used primarily in home health care applications, the companys goal was to improve upon the product by making it more robust, smaller, less expensive and able to be monitored remotely.

DeMarr said her company sought out ORNL because of its expertise and stellar reputation in the areas of chip design. The project has progressed rapidly as Britton and Ericson, members of the labs Engineering Science and Technology Division, began work about a year ago and clinical trials for the new device were completed last month.

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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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