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Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES)

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CNN

Temporal thermometers may be less accurate than oral thermometers in detecting fevers among hospitalized Black patients, reports Jacqueline Howard for CNN. This “really reflects the much bigger systematic problem that we have now in the way we design, we innovate, we develop health products – not just medical devices but also medications and interventions,” says Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi. “We really need to step up in terms of making sure that the research we perform is more inclusive so that we avoid these unintended consequences of the technology that we develop.”

Politico

Researchers from MIT and Harvard have developed a “3D-printed ‘lab-on-a-chip’ that could detect Covid-19 immunity levels and Covid infections from saliva within two hours,” reports Ben Leonard and Ruth Reader for Politico.

The Daily Beast

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have developed a postcard-sized test that can detect a Covid-19 infection and the presence of antibodies resulting from an infection, reports Maddie Bender for the Daily Beast.  “What excites me about this diagnostic device is that it combines a high level of accuracy with a flexible design that could make it a major tool in our arsenal for addressing future pandemics,” explains Prof. James Collins.

Reuters

Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi oversaw a study which found that people of color were given significantly less supplemental oxygen than white people because of inaccuracies in pulse oximeter readings, reports Nancy Lapid for Reuters. “Nurses and doctors make the wrong decisions and end up giving less oxygen to people of color because they are fooled [by incorrect readings from pulse oximeters],” says Celi.

The Daily Beast

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have created an artificial intelligence program that can accurately identify a patient’s race based off medical images, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The reason we decided to release this paper is to draw attention to the importance of evaluating, auditing, and regulating medical AI,” explains Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

Stat

During the AI Cures Conference, Prof. Regina Barzilay spoke with Food and Drug Administration senior staff fellow Amir Khan about how the agency intends to regulate artificial intelligence in medicine, reports Casey Ross for STAT.  “’My thinking is that models should be regulated based on their functionality, and not necessarily on the input data they use,” said Barzilay. 

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe highlights Robert Buderi’s new book, “Where Futures Converge: Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub.” Buderi features the Future Founders Initiative, an effort by Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins aimed at increasing female entrepreneurship. 

Stat

STAT reporter Katie Palmer spotlights Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi’s research underscoring the importance of improving the diversity of datasets used to design and test clinical AI systems. “The biggest concern now is that the algorithms that we’re building are only going to benefit the population that’s contributing to the dataset,” says Celi. “And none of that will have any value to those who carry the biggest burden of disease in this country, or in the world.”

Stat

STAT reporters Katie Palmer and Casey Ross spotlight how Prof. Regina Barzilay has developed an AI tool called Mirai that can identify early signs of breast cancer from mammograms. “Mirai’s predictions were rolled into a screening tool called Tempo, which resulted in earlier detection compared to a standard annual screening,” writes Palmer and Ross.

Salon

Salon reporter Elizabeth Landau spotlights the work of researchers from MIT and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in uncovering how Covid-19 can affect the ear. Viruses such as Covid-19, “all have these tentacles that seem to touch the ear, but nobody’s been able to study them because the ear is so inaccessible,” says Prof. Lee Gehrke. “So that’s the part that I think I get most excited about. Now we have a way to look at these things in a way that we were not able to do before.”

The Washington Post

MIT researchers are developing innovations aimed at improving Covid-19 diagnostics, including an atomic-level test designed to increase testing accuracy, reports Steven Zeitchik for The Washington Post. Professor James Collins and his team are developing “a mask that uses freeze-dried technology to detect the coronavirus.”

Good Morning America

Prof. Regina Barzilay speaks with Good Morning America about her work developing a new AI tool that could “revolutionize early breast cancer detection” by identifying patients at high risk of developing the disease. “If this technology is used in a uniform way,” says Barzilay, “we can identify early who are high-risk patients and intervene.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Steve Zeitchik spotlights Prof. Regina Barzilay and graduate student Adam Yala’s work developing a new AI system, called Mirai, that could transform how breast cancer is diagnosed, “an innovation that could seriously disrupt how we think about the disease.” Zeitchik writes: “Mirai could transform how mammograms are used, open up a whole new world of testing and prevention, allow patients to avoid aggressive treatments and even save the lives of countless people who get breast cancer.”

Salon

Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have found that Covid-19 can cause long-term issues with a patient’s ear, reports Matthew Rozsa for Salon. The researchers found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting the hair cells of the inner ear, as well as (to a lesser extent) the Schwann cells,” Rozsa explains.

Forbes

Forbes reporter William A. Haseltine spotlights an MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear study that finds the inner ear can be infected by Covid-19. “When exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” writes Haseltine, the researchers, "found that the vestibular hair cells on the inner ear, which helps us keep our balance and sense head movements, had an infection rate of 26%, making them particularly vulnerable."