Technology & Innovation 13(4) Abstracts

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Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 263–266, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13292321140723
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

The 8th Million Patent Issued on a Visual Prosthesis: Patenting of Medical Devices

Ram R. Shukla

United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA, USA

On August 16, 2011, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the 8th million patent to Robert J. Greenberg, Kelly H. Mcclure, and Arup Roy for a Visual Prosthesis that enhances visual perception for people who have gone blind due to outer retinal degeneration. The invention uses electrical stimulation of the retina to produce the visual perception of patterns of light. The product—the Argus® II—is currently in US clinical trials and has received marketing approval in Europe. The patent is assigned to Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., located in Sylmar, California, is a privately held company founded in 1998 by Alfred Mann, Dr. Sam Williams, and Gunnar Bjorg with the goal of creating a retinal prosthesis to provide sight to subjects blinded from outer retinal degenerations, such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Key words: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); Visual prosthesis; Retinal degeneration; Argus® II

Accepted August 31, 2011.
Address correspondence to Ram R. Shukla, Ph.D., Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patents for Innovation Development, Supervisory Patent Examiner, Technology Center 1600, United States Patent and Trademark Office, 400 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. Tel: (571) 272-0735; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 267–279, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13292321140778
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Thirteen Postures of Wheelchair Taijiquan (Tai Chi): Wheelchair Use as an Instrument of Empowerment

Zibin Guo

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN, USA

The 13 Postures of Wheelchair Taijiquan, an innovative program that makes accessible a traditional Chinese martial and healing art to people with ambulatory impairment by transforming the wheelchair from an assistive device into a tool of empowerment, also serves as a model of what can happen when everyday realities for people with disabilities are taken into account in the design of an intervention program. Research in both developed and developing countries shows that too often social and cultural barriers discourage people with physical impairments from participating in fitness activities, despite advances in technology and access. However, following the author’s collaboration with the China disabled Peoples’ Federation and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Committee leading to the introduction of Wheelchair Taijiquan at the Beijing 2008 Olympics/Paralympics Cultural Festival, Wheelchair Taijiquan not only has been embraced by people with disabilities as a popular fitness and recreational programs throughout China, it has become part of China’s national program to promote health. Finally, Wheelchair Taijiquan can be practiced as a seated form by anyone looking for a simple, low-cost, low-impact, upper-body exercise; and it already has shown promise in a number of other health care areas, including among the elderly and those with temporary immobility.

Key words: Wheelchair Taijiquan; Tai Chi; Ambulatory impairment; Disabilities; Physical fitness; Body/mind health; Cultural considerations

Received October 28, 2011.
Address correspondence to Zibin Guo, Ph.D., Brock Hall 308E, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403-2598, USA. Tel: 423-425-4442; Fax: 423-425-2251; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 281–292, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13292321140804
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Maternal and Child Health Services for Women With HIV/AIDS: A Focus on the Tampa Metropolitan Area

Bernice K. Lopez,* Patrick J. Dillon,† and Jordana Frost‡

*Department of Applied Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
†Department of Communication, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
‡School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

More than 400,000 children are infected with HIV each year through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Though MTCT rates are relatively low in the US, it remains a constant risk for HIV women who have children, and it is imperative that efforts continue in order to maintain awareness and to prevent MTCT increases. Based on interviews with representatives of community organizations that provide maternal health services to HIV-positive women in the Tampa, Florida metropolitan area, the results of this study indicate that the individuals providing services to HIV-positive women may lack the training necessary to meet the specific needs of this population. The results also indicate that because no organization provides comprehensive maternal health services to this population, they are often forced to refer them to other community organizations with minimal ability to coordinate information about specific clients/patients. The results also indicate that HIV-related stigma is still present among some front-line providers and may influence the quality of care that HIV-positive women receive. Based on these findings, we offer recommendations for improving maternal health services for HIV-positive women in both the Tampa area and the US.

Key words: HIV/AIDS; Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT); Women’s health; Prevention; Community organizations; Infant health; Reproductive health; Breastfeeding

Accepted October 20, 2011.
Address correspondence to Bernice K. Lopez, 20466 Needletree Drive, Tampa, FL 33647, USA. Tel: (352) 316-3882; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 293–304, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13292321140859
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Fertility Preservation Technologies for Oncology Patients in the US: A Review of the Factors Involved in Patient Decision Making

Cecilia Vindrola-Padros,* Khadija Mitu,† and Karen Dyer*

*Department of Applied Anthropology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
†Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA

The field of oncofertility addresses issues of infertility in oncology patients. Even though this field has integrated professionals from multiple disciplines, a significant amount of research still needs to be carried out to understand the factors involved in patients’ access to fertility preservation technologies, the worries and concerns of cancer patients and survivors, and the strategies used to deal with fertility transformations. The purpose of this article is to present a review of the existing social research on oncofertility, discuss notable gaps in knowledge, and identify future areas of study. We examine the relationship between common medical treatments used to treat cancer and their effects on fertility; available fertility preservation technologies; the social, political, cultural, and economic factors involved in medical care, patient decision making, and access to technological procedures; and existing guidelines and organizations in the US that focus on patient information and advocacy. This review seeks to encourage researchers to bring patient experience to the forefront of oncofertility research and consider the factors that continue to hinder their access to the technologies required to safeguard their fertility.

Key words: Oncofertility; Guidelines; Social barriers; Patient decision making; Fertility preservation

Accepted June 17, 2011.
Address correspondence to Cecilia Vindrola-Padros, Department of Anthropology, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, SOC 107, Tampa, FL 33620-8100, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Technology and Innovation, Vol. 13, pp. 305–319, 2012
1929-8241/12 $90.00 + .00
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/194982412X13292321140886
E-ISSN 1949-825X
Copyright © 2012 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved

Engaging the Community in Health Research in India

Kristen J. Wells,*† Charles Preuss,‡ Yashwant Pathak,§ J. K. Kosambiya,¶ and Ambuj Kumar*†

*Division of Evidence-Based Medicine and Health Outcomes Research, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
†Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA
‡Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
§College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
¶Department of Community Medicine (PSM), Government Medical College Surat, Surat, India

Community-engaged research approaches involve members of the community in various aspects of a research endeavor to improve the health of populations. Engaging the community in research is important in the development, dissemination, and evaluation of new interventions, technologies, and other medical advancements to improve population health globally. A review of published community-engaged research studies conducted in India was performed. Fifteen published studies were identified and reviewed to evaluate the state of community-engaged research in India. The review indicated that community-engaged research in India is limited. Most published community-engaged research focused on health promotion, especially in the prevention or management of HIV/AIDS and other STIs. Community members were involved in a variety of aspects of the research, but there was not one published article indicating that community members had defined the disease of focus. Community-engaged research often led to valuable insights into the views, experiences, and behaviors of community members and also led to increased community participation in health initiatives. It is anticipated that future community-engaged research will lead to improvements in global health through increased empowerment of communities and a better ability to implement new and innovative medical advances, technologies, and interventions.

Key words: Community-engaged research; Participatory action research; Community-based participatory research; India; Public health

Accepted October 21, 2011.
Address correspondence to Kristen J. Wells, Ph.D., M.P.H., Center for Evidence-based Medicine and Health Outcomes Research, University of South Florida, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 27, Tampa, FL, 33612, USA. Tel: 813-396-2612; Fax: 813-905-8909; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it