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Texas Innovator Summer 2008

Texas Innovator DEFENSE INDUSTRIES

Sewn-in security

Every second counts when U.S. soldiers or law enforcement officers are injured. Dr. Keith Rose, a Texan and former U.S. Army surgeon, designed the Integrated Tourniquet System (ITS) to assist medics and soldiers in the event of a severe extremity injury. ITS pants contain four tourniquets sewn into the fabric, easily activated by the wearer, a colleague or medical personnel.

“Extremity bleeding is the number one cause of death on the battlefield, and 60 percent of military injuries happen to the extremities,” says Terry Naughton, director of licensed products for Virginia-based BLACKHAWK!, which manufactures ITS products.

Soldiers already carry tourniquets, but often in a separate backpack or in a pocket. ITS pants’ quick activation capability may ultimately save lives. “If you can get to a medical facility within 20 minutes, you have a greater than 95 percent chance of survival,” Naughton says. “This could give them that lifesaving edge.”

ITS pants are already available for police units and civilian contractors working in Iraq, and BLACKHAWK! is working on ITS-integrated uniforms for all U.S. military branches.

For more information, contact Terry Naughton, tnaughton@Blackhawk.com, (920) 915-1114, or visit www.blackhawk.com.


Texas Innovator MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

Laser vision

A Texas doctor is the first U.S. ophthalmologist in private practice to offer a LASIK – laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis – procedure employing a new surgical laser system. The new procedure results in less discomfort for the patient and faster visual recovery, according to Dr. Phillips Kirk Labor, founder of Grapevine-based Eye Consultants of Texas.

Labor uses the FEMTO LDV™ surgical laser and GALILEI™ corneal mapping system (Ziemer USA Inc.) in an optimized LASIK procedure termed Z-LASIK.

The Texas firm will serve as a training ground for other ophthalmologists learning to use the equipment. About 1.5 million LASIK surgeries are performed in the United States annually.

For more information, visit the Eye Consultants of Texas Web site at www.eyectexas.com or call (817) 410-2030.


TRAVEL AND TOURISM

In the headlights

Minnesota is working to curb deer-related vehicle crashes with sign-mounted lasers that activate flashing lights when deer are present. The Minnesota Department of Transportation conducted a 10-month study on a mile-long stretch of highway. The result: a 50 percent reduction in deer-vehicle collisions, says Robert Weinholzer, the program’s administrator.

With Texas having the largest white-tailed deer population in the United States, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to initiate similar programs in the future.

State Farm Insurance Co. estimates that 30,000 such collisions occur annually on Texas roads, with damages exceeding $50 million.

For more information, contact Robert Weinholzer, (651) 234-7059.


Texas Innovator EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Photo show on the go

Texas Instruments (TI) has unveiled a prototype of its Pico projector, a miniature projection device small enough to fit in a cell phone and powerful enough to project an image onto a wall or screen. The diminutive device is based on TI’s Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology.

At the heart of the mini-projector is TI’s Digital Micromirror Device, a semiconductor-based chip containing an array of millions of tiny individual microscopic mirrors. Each micromirror measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair and corresponds to one pixel in a projected image. The Pico projector is designed to offer consumers and business professionals the ability to make presentations on the go without having to lug heavy equipment.

The one-and-a-half-inch-wide projector can be sold as a standalone product or as an accessory in third-party cell phones, digital cameras and other portable products, says Kateri Gemperle, public relations manager for TI’s DLP Products.

For more information, contact Kateri Gemperle, (214) 567-3617, or visit www.ti.com.


Texas Innovator TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Saving the lives of seniors

In March 2008, Travis County (Texas) unveiled Project Lifesaver – a program that helps locate Alzheimer’s and dementia patients if they wander away from their caregivers.

“It’s an added tool that gives [caregivers] an extra layer of security,” says Andrea Buckley, Project Lifesaver coordinator.

In early April, 16 people were enrolled in the free program. Participants wear a wristband similar to a watch that transmits a signal to special equipment used by law enforcement, which helps locate people who become lost.

Clients must be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia and live with their full-time caregiver, who is required to check the batteries in the wristband daily. Once a month, a Project Lifesaver representative visits the home to replace the battery and wristband.

The Travis County program is part of the seven-year-old Project Lifesaver International, which supports more than 630 agencies in 42 states and Canada. The program has a 100 percent success rate and has located more than 1,600 missing people.

For more information, contact Andrea Buckley, andrea.buckley@co.travis.tx.us, (512) 854-7786, or visit www.tcsheriff.org/projectlifesaver/index.html.

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