Impulse - Meeting Healthcare Pioneers

Mathieu Chaffard

Impulse invites listeners to meet the people shaping the current medical advancements through in-depth conversations about their field of expertise and the journey that took them where they are now. The podcast aims to democratize ongoing advances in medical technology and to introduce listeners to some of its key actors. read less

#15 - Propelling diagnostics through miniaturization - Nicolas Durand - Abionic
18-01-2023
#15 - Propelling diagnostics through miniaturization - Nicolas Durand - Abionic
Nicolas Durand is the CEO of Abionic, a Swiss-based startup which developed and commercialises the abioSCOPE®, a unique diagnostic platform characterised by its compact size and ability to deliver high quality results in a fraction of time. Passionate about high tech and wishing to become an entrepreneur from a very early age (he created his first company with a friend at school when he was 14 years old) he turned his PhD work into a venture, which today represents one of the most successful medtech startups in the country! We discuss with Nicolas the nanotechnology behind Abionic, the types of tests it can run, the targeted diseases, the efforts it takes to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of a new diagnostic device, but also the energy required to convince all the actors involved in the care pathway, from regulators, doctors, to patients. He also shares openly about his vision regarding the potential emergence of home diagnostic systems in the future, as well as his perspective on the impact that the Theranos scandal had on the diagnostics industry, and in particular on startups operating in this field. A conversation under the sign of resilience and excellence that we invite you to discover in this new episode! Timeline: 02:05 - Nicolas’ background and his original interest in high technology and entrepreneurship 04:07 - Creating your first company at 14 years old 06:54 - What Abionic is about and how its core diagnostic technology works 21:45 - Miniaturizing diagnostic tests beyond immunoassays 25:07 - The clinical settings where the abioSCOPE® is placed 27:25 - Towards the use of diagnostic systems at home 32:15 - The impact of the Theranos scandal on medtech startups What we also talked about with Nicolas: Philippe Renaud Robopoly PSP Sepsis IVDR Elizabeth Holmes Red Bull Air Race We cited with Nicolas some of the past episodes from the series: #4 - Fighting sepsis with nanoengineered beads to filter the blood - Lukas Langenegger - Hemotune #5 - Transforming diagnostics through spatial biology - Déborah Heintze - Lunaphore #12 - Unleashing the power of digital health - Daniel Kraft - Digital.Health #13 - Catalyzing drug discovery using organ-on-a-chip models - Bas Trietsch - Mimetas As mentioned in the episode, you can learn more about Abionic through their website and follow their activities on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook! Based on Nicolas’ suggestion, we invite you to read Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou to learn more about Elizabeth Holmes and the scandal around Theranos which literally shook the whole medtech industry in the past years! If you want to get in touch with Nicolas, feel free to contact him per email at nicolas.durand@abionic.com or through LinkedIn. If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or per email at mathieu@impulsepodcast.com. And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! Finally, you can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, Twitter or on Instagram!
#14 - Preserving our health with smart clothes - Vincent Martinez - Nanoleq
14-12-2022
#14 - Preserving our health with smart clothes - Vincent Martinez - Nanoleq
Will the next revolution in personalized health be led by connected clothes? This is the bet that Vincent Martinez and his team at Nanoleq are making, and they are putting all their efforts into turning their vision into reality! Originally, their idea was to target the cable industry with a proprietary technology enabling to create stretchable cables, with superior physical and electrical properties. The targeted companies being too slow in their adoption of the proposed approach, Vincent and his team decide to tackle the field of connected clothing, by proposing a set of components and tools enabling any clothing manufacturer to turn their garments into smart ones, able to measure multiple vital parameters but also to electrically stimulate certain regions of the body. Building upon their expertise in this space, they developed the first breathing smart garment with live biofeedback - Oxa - around which they designed a whole personalized program for everyone to reconnect to their body through breathing, the only vital sign we can consciously control. We talked with Vincent about the emergence of connected clothes and what role they will play in the preservation of our health, how stretchable electronics work, and how Nanoleq managed to develop a full breathing experience combining cutting-edge sensors with gamification, backed by the most renown ambassadors in the field. Timeline: 00:58 - Vincent’s background at the interface of materials science and biomedical engineering 02:57 - Launching a company to address the premature breakage of electronic cables 07:45 - What lies behind the term « stretchable electronics » 09:55 - Shifting the focus towards smart textiles 19:48 - The vision of Nanoleq around connected health 24:05 - Starting a new product line focused on breathing optimization: Oxa Life 35:00 - Federating a community of breathing specialists 37:46 - Making the most personalised and digitally engaging breathing optimization program 44:14 - Towards everyday wear of smart clothes What we also talked about with Vincent: ETH Pioneer Fellowships Luca Hirt Grégoire Courtine Start Summit Venture Kick Venture Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Wim Hof Sleep apnea Dan Brulé Headspace Petit Bambou Andrew Huberman We cited with Vincent some of the past episodes from the series: #6 - Bringing back walking to paraplegics - Jocelyne Bloch - .NeuroRestore #11 - Turning the lab into a wearable platform - Esmeralda Megally - Xsensio As mentioned in the episode, you can learn more about Nanoleq and the field of stretchable electronics through their website. The Kickstarter campaign for Oxa runs until Sunday December 18 and you can contribute to it at this page! For more information about Oxa, check out the official product page: www.oxalife.com. Based on Vincent’s suggestions, check out the book Breath from James Nestor or this episode of Huberman Lab if you want to know more about the science behind breathing and the exercises that we discussed in this episode. You can also learn more about the Buteyko method here. If you want to get in touch with Vincent, feel free to contact him per email at martinez@nanoleq.com or through LinkedIn. If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or per email at mathieu@impulsepodcast.com. And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! Finally, you can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, Twitter or on Instagram!
#13 - Catalyzing drug discovery using organ-on-a-chip models - Bas Trietsch - Mimetas
28-11-2022
#13 - Catalyzing drug discovery using organ-on-a-chip models - Bas Trietsch - Mimetas
Developing a new drug is a tough and strenuous endeavour, requiring investments that go beyond $1 billion and sometimes up to 15 years of time. On top of that, only 1 out of 10 drug candidates successfully passes clinical trial testing and regulatory approval. The Dutch company Mimetas, specialized in the use of organ-on-a-chip technology, aims to address exactly this challenge by accelerating this laborious process and making it more predictable. Their expertise actually lies in the development of in-vitro human tissue models (including diseases) which recapitulate the cellular complexity but also the biochemical and mechanical cues that make up the real tissues from our body. Such models can then be used as a powerful experimental platform for drug discovery, since they reflect our actual biology so well. Bas Triestch is one of the three founders from Mimetas (alongside Jos Joore and Paul Vulto) who saw in the early 2010s the potential to leverage organ-on-a-chip methods at scale for the benefit of drug discovery, leading them to become the most innovative Dutch company in 2022! In this episode, Bas takes us behind the scenes of the fascinating science that they are driving at Mimetas, the impact that they are having on the R&D efforts from some of the biggest players in the biotech industry, but also the shift that they have operated as a company, starting as a “hardware” provider and gradually becoming a specialized scientific service firm. Timeline: 01:35 - Bas’ background and the origins of Mimetas centered around new drug discovery approaches 05:31 - What organ-on-a-chip technology means and how it serves the development of new human tissue and disease models 09:05 - The OrganoPlate® as the key platform providing scalability and reproducibility for the study of such models 15:40 - Merging organoids and organ-on-a-chip technologies in a unique platform, the OrganoPlate® Graft 24:03 - Moving from better understanding diseases, through medication guidance, and up to personalized medicine 28:47 - Mimetas’ mission in accelerating the development of new treatments and finding the right drugs for the right patients 34:50 - Dealing with substantial amount of experimental data 39:24 - Shifting Mimetas’ business model from selling hardware components to offering specialized scientific services in the field of drug discovery What we also talked about with Bas: Leiden University Hans Clevers Roche Galapagos Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) Wnt signaling pathway We cited with Bas some of the past episodes from the series: #5 - Transforming diagnostics through spatial biology - Déborah Heintze - Lunaphore #8 - Using organoids to transform drug discovery - Nikolce Gjorevski - Roche As mentioned in the episode, you can learn more about Mimetas and the field of organ-on-a-chip engineering through their website. Based on Bas’ recommendation, we also invite you to check out this review to get a deeper understanding of the field and where it stands at the moment. If you want to get in touch with Bas, feel free to contact him per email at s.trietsch@mimetas.com or through LinkedIn. If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or per email at mathieu@impulsepodcast.com. And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! Finally, you can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, Twitter or on Instagram!
#12 - Unleashing the power of digital health - Daniel Kraft - Digital.Health
01-11-2022
#12 - Unleashing the power of digital health - Daniel Kraft - Digital.Health
Daniel Kraft is a surprising and admirable figure in the digital health landscape. Originally trained as a physician in internal medicine and pediatrics, he then distinguished himself by his research work focusing on regenerative medicine, while at the same time initiating several entrepreneurial projects in the medtech space. RegenMed Systems is one of them, a company that he founded and which led him to create a new type of medical device to facilitate bone marrow harvest procedures. IntelliMedicine is another one, where he aims to create a system enabling patients to 3D print their own medication at home, avoiding the intake of multiple pills on a daily basis. Aside from his own entrepreneurial endeavours, he advises several Fortune-50 and digital health-related startups, and is on the board of Healthy.io. As one of the most renowned ambassadors of digital health, he is driven by the conviction that innovation in this space can only result from the synergies of disciplines and technologies that may initially be totally distant from the medical sphere. Through his activities at the Singularity University or through the program Exponential Medicine that he initiated, he brings together brilliant minds from a broad range of specialties who come together to explore convergent and rapidly developing technologies, to develop relevant applications in healthcare. Often called upon to speak to the future of health, medicine and technology, he has already given multiple TED and TEDMED Talks, and delivered keynotes to a wide array of organizations on those subjects. We talked with Daniel about his early days in the healthcare world, why he decided to study medicine and orient himself on this path, his perspective on the importance of collaboration and boldness when it comes to creating new digital health solutions, what the future looks like from his lens, but also how he manages to stay on top of things while keeping a healthy lifestyle! Timeline: 00:59 - Daniel’s background moving from medical studies, through biomedical research, entrepreneurship and thought leadership in digital health 03:56 - What drove Daniel to start a career in healthcare 05:54 - How converging new digital technologies can benefit medical progress 09:00 - The shift in adoption within the medical community towards digital health 10:49 - The types of medical data available these days to advance our understanding and management of diseases 14:30 - Establishing a general database to reference all things digital health - Digital.Health 20:16 - Zooming in on RegenMed Systems and IntelliMedicine 26:25 - A lookout on Daniel’s potential future projects in healthcare 31:54 - Daniel’s tips and secrets on his (almost) endless source of energy and drive What we also talked about with Daniel: Bits & Pretzels HealthTech Xolair Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign NASA IBM Watson CRISPR/Cas9 Continuum Health Ventures Digitale Gesundheitsanwendungen (DiGA) You can learn more about Daniel’s activities through his website (we recommend you to subscribe to his weekly newsletter), and you can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter. For a deep-dive into digital health solutions, we recommend you to consult Digital.Health, the database that Daniel and his team put together and which regroups most of the solutions already available out there. In case you want to experience the thrill of digital health and share your ideas with some of the brightest minds in the field, check out NextMed.Health, the conference in San Diego curated by Daniel and his team from March 13 to 16 next year. If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: mathieu@impulsepodcast.com And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast, leave a positive review on streaming platforms and follow our activities on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter as well as on our website!
#11 - Turning the lab into a wearable platform - Esmeralda Megally - Xsensio
19-10-2022
#11 - Turning the lab into a wearable platform - Esmeralda Megally - Xsensio
Miniaturizing the lab to allow for the continuous analysis of proteins and hormones circulating in our body through a wearable. This is the aim of Xsensio - a Swiss startup developing the Lab-on-Skin(c) platform - which will enable in the future to continuously track compounds present in the interstitial fluid, right underneath our skin. It is in essence a similar concept as the established continuous glucose measurement devices (which are nowadays moving from pure medical applications to consumer-oriented wellness programs), the difference being the type of biomarkers that the Lab-on-Skin(c) platform will enable to monitor - proteins and hormones on-body, continuously and in real-time - opening applications ranging from cardiology to oncology, in the hospital setting or at home. Esmeralda Megally (CEO of the company) shares with us her vision around personalized medicine and which role the Lab-on-Skin(c) platform will play in this regard. With passion, she explains us the concepts behind the functioning of this surprising technology, what it takes to bring it to the market, and reveals the potential synergies that it may have in the future with the current wearables that are already part of our daily living. Timeline: 02:20 - Esmeralda’s background and how it led to the creation of Xsensio 09:14 - The unmet need that Xsensio is addressing with its Lab-on-Skin(c) platform 13:51 - The applications where the Lab-on-Skin(c) platform will play a role 17:28 - The functioning of the Lab-on-Skin(c) platform and its components 22:50 - What lies ahead of Xsensio before making its first product commercialized 28:09 - Combining the Lab-on-Skin(c) platform with traditional wearables data 29:57 - Defining a medical product development roadmap in an emerging field and how to deal with accompanying uncertainty What we also talked about with Esmeralda: Fitbit Apple Watch Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Lab for Youth Mental Health NANOLAB Veri Supersapiens C-reactive protein Troponin T Mayo Clinic Rea Diagnostics We cited with Esmeralda some of the past episodes from the series: #4 - Fighting sepsis with nanoengineered beads to filter the blood - Lukas Langenegger - Hemotune If you want to know more about Xsensio, we invite you to consult their website and follow their activities on LinkedIn or Twitter. As mentioned by Esmeralda in the episode, have a read at this paper from Nature Biotechnology if you want to know more about the field of biosensing. You can get in touch with Esmeralda through LinkedIn or by email: esmeralda.megally@xsensio.com If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: mathieu@impulsepodcast.com And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! You can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, or on Instagram!
#10 - Applying blockchain technology to healthcare - Eberhard Scheuer - dHealth Foundation
02-10-2022
#10 - Applying blockchain technology to healthcare - Eberhard Scheuer - dHealth Foundation
Most of us have already heard about blockchain technology, as well as many things about cryptocurrencies and how they are transforming traditional approaches in the field of finance. But what about its relevance to healthcare and the potential applications it may have in this space? Eberhard Scheuer is the President of the dHealth Foundation, a not-for-profit organization from Switzerland providing the infrastructure and tools to major stakeholders in healthcare to leverage blockchain technology. He takes us through the basic concepts around blockchain and guides us through the benefits and the applications it may have in this field, when it comes for instance to empowering patients in managing their own health and the data that accompanies it, creating transparency across the pharmaceutical supply chain, or even preserving the authenticity of medical test results! A fascinating exchange and good entry point for newcomers in the field of blockchain and web3 applied to healthcare! Timeline: 02:21 - Eberhard’s background and his entry point in web3 concepts applied to healthcare 06:29 - What blockchain is about 11:12 - Applications of blockchain technology to healthcare and its benefits 21:51 - The example of Estonia with blockchain-enabled electronic health records and the efforts of big tech companies in that regard 25:58 - The reason behind the dHealth Foundation and monetizing health data 38:30 - The services provided by the dHealth Foundation to its partners 46:44 - Misleading ideas around blockchain applications in healthcare What we also talked about with Eberhard Bitcoin Ethereum The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute Roche Digital twin Alex Cahana If you want to know more about the dHealth Foundation, we invite you to consult their website and follow their activities on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter. As mentioned by Eberhard in the episode, if you want to know more about the field of blockchain and the latest trends in that regard, have a look at Blockchain Revolution, Bloomberg Crypto, CoinDesk and Cointelegraph. You can get in touch with Eberhard through LinkedIn or by email: es@dhealth.foundation If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: mathieu@impulsepodcast.com. And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! You can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, or on Instagram!
#9 - Creating the Gran Turismo of surgery - Raimundo Sierra - VirtaMed
15-09-2022
#9 - Creating the Gran Turismo of surgery - Raimundo Sierra - VirtaMed
Raimundo Sierra is the Founder and CEO from VirtaMed, a Swiss company specialized in surgical simulation systems, covering interventions in orthopaedics, gynecology, laparoscopy and urology, providing true-to-life training for aspiring surgeons and established ones, as part of their continuing education. At the edge of robotics and gaming, Raimundo takes us through the origins of this extremely ambitious project, explaining how the first systems from VirtaMed were developed, and how they currently fit in the diverse surgical curricula provided by established institutions in Europe, China and the US. Beyond the volume of training that such platforms can offer and the positive repercussions in terms of operative results, they also provide equitable access to surgical training, a point that is particularly close to Raimundo's heart given his personal experience. Timeline: 01:36 - Raimundo’s background and what led him to the world of surgical simulation systems 07:33 - The origins of VirtaMed and what differentiates its solutions from medical devices 11:24 - How surgical simulation systems are integrated to medical curricula 16:16 - The components of VirtaMed surgical simulation systems 20:38 - VirtaMed’s global footprint and driving adoption of its products 24:58 - The potential of emerging technologies like machine learning in the field of surgical simulation 27:11 - How VirtaMed works with surgeons 34:47 - VirtaMed’s business model What we also talked about with Raimundo: Stefan Tuchschmid AANA AGA Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin B. Braun Melsungen AG Bruno Schmied Dieter Hahnloser Melanie Aregger Avelo We cited with Raimundo some of the past episodes from the series: #2 - Treating liver cancer with surgical robotics - Lucien Blondel - Quantum Surgical #7 - Redefining motor rehabilitation with digital neurotherapeutics - Naveed Ejaz - Mindmaze If you want to know more about VirtaMed, we invite you to consult their website and follow their activities on LinkedIn. As mentioned by Raimundo in the episode, you can learn more about the field of surgical simulations and the latest trends in that regard through the following sources: Society for Simulation in Healthcare The PROFICIENCY project You can get in touch with Raimundo by email: raimundo.sierra@virtamed.com If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: mathieu@impulsepodcast.com. And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! You can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, or on Instagram!
#8 - Using organoids to transform drug discovery - Nikolce Gjorevski - Roche
30-08-2022
#8 - Using organoids to transform drug discovery - Nikolce Gjorevski - Roche
Disclaimer: Nikolce and I both work for Roche, nevertheless all opinions expressed in this episode are our own and do not necessarily represent the position of our employer. Nikolce is leading the Organoid Engineering Group at the Roche Institute for Translational Bioengineering. Organoids are miniaturised versions of the organs and tissues that make up our bodies, sharing phenotypic and genetic aspects of them. They carry a lot of hope in terms of applications in healthcare, from the replacement of animal testing involved in the assessment of drug safety and efficacy, to personalized medicine where they can be leveraged to inform the treatment most suitable to a particular patient, or in terms of potential transplants to address certain diseases. We exchanged with Nikolce on the what, the how and the why behind this fascinating field of bioengineering, which tremendously developed over the past years. He takes us through the current status of the technology and the clinical applications it has already demonstrated, and shares his view on how the field will evolve in the future. Timeline: 03:13 - Mandate and ambition of the Roche Institute for Translational Bioengineering 06:18 - What organoids are and from which tissues they are derived 09:53 - Reprogramming cells’ fates from tissues and deriving induced pluripotent stem cells 11:05 - Growing organoids in vitro and related challenges 13:50 - Applications leveraged at the ITB and the types of tissues at stake 15:55 - Refining the biology and turning the theoretical promises around organoids into practice 20:38 - Towards the use of organoids as human grafts or replacing animal testing 22:37 - Organ-on-a-chip technologies and how they complement organoids 26:17 - Synergies with bioprinting technologies and the challenges that come along with building tissue replicas 28:03 - Looking back at the main advancements since the first organoids came out and their ability to recapitulate features proper to a patient 33:56 - The ethical framework around the use of organoids 37:38 - Moving from Academia to the Industry as a scientist What we also talked about with Nikolce: Matthias Lütolf Hans Clevers Mina Bissell Celeste M. Nelson Nathalie Brandenberg Silke Hoehnel Sun Bioscience Cellink Embryonic stem cells HeLa cells If you want to learn more about the Roche Institute for Translational Bioengineering, we encourage you to consult their website. As mentioned by Nikolce during the episode, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Stem Cell Technologies are two information sources worth checking out in case you want to take a deep-dive into what organoids are, and go further into the topics we discussed with him. If you want to reach out to Nikolce, you can contact him over LinkedIn. If you liked the episode, please share it, rate it and leave a 5 star review on Apple Podcasts! You can find more about the podcast through its dedicated website or follow our activities on LinkedIn and Instagram. If you want to give me feedback on this episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: m.chaffard05@gmail.com.
#7 - Redefining motor rehabilitation with digital neurotherapeutics - Naveed Ejaz - MindMaze
01-08-2022
#7 - Redefining motor rehabilitation with digital neurotherapeutics - Naveed Ejaz - MindMaze
Naveed Ejaz is VP Product Strategy and Clinical Development (formerly Director of Digital Therapies) at MindMaze, the very first unicorn from Switzerland, pioneering the fascinating field of digital neurotherapeutics. Underneath these fluffy terms lies the concept of “software-as-a-medicine”, where pieces of code come together to drive a behavioural intervention, enabling patients suffering from neurological diseases to improve their condition. In the area of neurology where pharmaceutical and medical device solutions have been limited, this field opens up promising perspectives in terms of extended care delivery, stronger engagement from patients towards their treatment plans, and facilitated care coordination. We talked with Naveed about how video games could be leveraged to create an engaging therapy for the benefits of patients suffering from neurological diseases, the challenges that companies involved in the field of digital therapeutics face, MindMaze’s vision to build an integrated platform delivering cutting-edge rehabilitation programs for patients, and why all of that is not purely about technology but rather engaging the patients as much as all healthcare professionals surrounding them. We also get a sneak peek at the activities led within MindMaze Labs, the R&D division of the company partnering with institutions like Formula One to understand better how the brain works under extreme situations! Timeline: 04:43 - Naveed’s background and what drove him towards neuroscience and neurorehabilitation 13:03 - What digital neurotherapeutics are and what “software-as-a-medicine” entails 20:30 - Conceptual acceptability towards digital neurotherapeutics in healthcare 23:38 - The benefits of gamification in neurorehabilitation therapies 29:44 - How the rehabilitation therapies from MindMaze are designed 42:57 - The key characteristics of a therapeutic video game that keeps patients engaged 47:15 - Rehabilitating fine dextrous motion versus gross movement 52:04 - Naveed’s role as VP Product Strategy and Clinical Development (formerly Director of Digital Therapies) 55:03 - Initiatives led by MindMaze Labs R&D center and partnering with Formula One What we also talked about with Naveed: BrainGate John Krakauer Johns Hopkins University MindMaze Labs Formula One If you want to know more about MindMaze, we invite you to consult their website and follow their activities on LinkedIn. As mentioned by Naveed in the episode, if you want to know more about the field of digital neurotherapeutics and the latest trends in that regard, have a look at Rock Health (and subscribe to their newsletter) and MobiHealthNews. You can get in touch with Naveed through LinkedIn or by email: naveed.ejaz@mindmaze.ch If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: mathieu@impulsepodcast.com. And if you liked the episode, don’t hesitate to share it, subscribe to the podcast and leave a positive review on streaming platforms! You can follow our activities through our website, over LinkedIn, or on Instagram!
#6 - Bringing back walking to paraplegics - Jocelyne Bloch - .NeuroRestore
05-07-2022
#6 - Bringing back walking to paraplegics - Jocelyne Bloch - .NeuroRestore
Bringing back mobility to those who lost it. This is the challenge that Jocelyne Bloch, neurosurgeon at the CHUV, together with the neuroscientist Grégoire Courtine from EPFL and their teams at .NeuroRestore and Onward set out to address. A decade after demonstrating that the technology developed by Prof. Courtine’s lab was able to bring back lower limb mobility to paraplegic rats, it has now been applied to humans in a research context through their joint work with phenomenal outcomes: most paraplegic patients implanted with the stimulation system they have developed were able to retrieve significant mobility of their lower limbs, enabling them to stand, walk and even climb stairs! Based on an electrode array coupled to a pulse generator (both fully implantable) remotely controlled, the system delivers selective stimulation of the spinal cord at the locations where the lower limb muscles are activated, in a sequence that replicates the mobility patterns that abled people demonstrate. Images of patients having experienced this technology, moving out of their wheelchair to stand and walk, have been seen throughout the world, and the hope that it brings for those concerned is immense, considering also the other applications that it could open for the rehabilitation of the upper limbs or for blood pressure regulation. In the latest episode from Impulse, we had the chance to sit down with Jocelyne and exchange with her on the infancy of this therapy, where she takes us through its working principle, the challenges that come along with bringing such a technology from the lab to the market, as well as on the life-changing benefits it may hold for patients in the future. With great humility, she also talks about how she manages to combine her clinical practice as a functional neurosurgeon, to leading a research group composed of over 80 collaborators, all of that while raising two children and with a husband at home! Timeline: 05:20 - Jocelyne’s background and what led her to functional neurosurgery 08:18 - Approach taken to enable paraplegic rats to walk again and moving towards human applications 14:55 - The first human implantation 17:20 - Towards autonomous mobility renewal 18:25 - The STIMO study focusing on mobility and upcoming trials 21:03 - Managing expectations of patients 23:20 - Making a viable therapy with a reasonable rehabilitation training phase 26:17 - Leveraging potential synergies with exoskeletons 27:23 - Current technological constraints 28:34 - Origins and purpose of .NeuroRestore, and the close collaboration with Onward 33:03 - Towards upper limbs and hands rehabilitation therapies 34:10 - Retrieving sensory feedback thanks to the current therapy 35:23 - Adding brain-computer interaction layers to the current therapy 37:56 - Staying on top of things when working as a neurosurgeon, leading a clinical research center, and a family life 39:41 - Evolving as a woman in the field of neurosurgery What we also talked about with Jocelyne: Grégoire Courtine Patrick Aebischer Jean-Guy Villemure Bogdan Draganski Baroreflex Neuroprosthetics Neuroplasticity EEG ECoG CHUV UNIL EPFL Medtronic Elon Musk We cited with Jocelyne some of the past episodes from the series: #3 – Augmenting the lives of paraplegics with exoskeletons – Tristan Vouga – Twiice #5 – Transforming diagnostics through spatial biology – Déborah Heintze – Lunaphore If you want to know more about .NeuroRestore, we invite you to consult their website. We also invite you to follow their activities on LinkedIn. If you are interested in learning more about the startup Onward, we invite you to check out their website as well as their LinkedIn page. You can contact Jocelyne by email: jocelyne.bloch@chuv.ch If you want to give me feedback on the episode, ask questions or suggest potential guests, feel free to do so through LinkedIn or by email: m.chaffard05@gmail.com.