Doctoral student Ohad BarSimanTov's business plan for Infrasonic Monitoring won second place in a regional competition.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Commencement 2014 profile: Ohad BarSimanTov
May 12, 2014Tweet
Entrepreneurship is thriving at Binghamton University, thanks to students such as Ohad BarSimanTov.
The 34-year-old from Tel Aviv, Israel, will receive his doctorate in bioengineering/electrical engineering this month after earning his undergraduate degree in 2007, and his master’s degree in 2009. Both were in electrical engineering from Binghamton University.
“I never thought I would go for a PhD,” BarSimanTov said. “But when I started working with Ken McLeod, we got good results and things came together quickly. It’s been interesting.”
“Interesting” is a modest word for BarSimanTov’s doctoral project: Infrasonic, a non-invasive, portable cardiac output monitoring device that could appeal to the healthcare industry, sports teams and home-care facilities.
McLeod, professor of bioengineering and director of the Clinical Science and Engineering Research Center, called BarSimanTov “a remarkable student.”
“Three years ago I posed an almost philosophical question to him: ‘Would it be possible to extract cardiac stroke volume estimates from chest wall motion measurements?’” McLeod recalled. “He took that thought and ran with it, undertaking clinical trials to obtain a proof of concept, developed the signal processing algorithms (that) would make a clinical application practical, and went so far as to construct a hardware prototype to demonstrate that the technology could be made portable, thereby permitting continuous cardiac output monitoring. I anticipate that his work will lead to significant improvements in quality of healthcare worldwide.”
Many athletes are not even aware of the term “cardiac output,” BarSimanTov said. It refers to the volume of blood pumped by the heart each minute – and it is a difficult measure to obtain. BarSimanTov’s device could be attached as a sticker or strap around the chest and allow the subject to receive stroke volume, heart rate and cardiac output monitoring. The dimensions of the device have not been finalized, but are likely to be in the range of 2.5 inches in diameter and .75 inches in depth.
BarSimanTov recently presented his business plan for Infrasonic Monitoring at a regional competition held at the University’s Innovative Technologies Complex. He finished second at the event and brought Infrasonic to a statewide competition. Although the plan did not place, BarSimanTov understood the complexity of the project.
“It’s hard to talk to any kind of investor who doesn’t have a medical background,” he said. “Many people think you can get a heart rate and that’s enough. Hospitals understand the need for this (device) right away.”
BarSimanTov has already met with cardiologists at Guthrie Hospital in Sayre, Pa., to discuss potential collaborations. But first, he is working to develop clinical trials for the device. Those measurements will be used to adjust the device and possibly create a new version.
‘Things are going little by little,” he said. “It’s just hard to say what direction we will go.”
Infrasonic Monitoring will soon move into a new home: A Start-up Suite at the University’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Partnerships.
BarSimanTov has come a long way from the Israeli boy who got into engineering by building remote-control airplanes. After graduating high school, he entered the Israeli Defense Forces and worked as an electronics technician, providing support for military jets.
“When I went into the Israeli army, everything disappeared in terms of hobbies,” he said with a chuckle. “It was non-stop.”
After three years in the military, BarSimanTov traveled to the United States to study at Staten Island College. He transferred to Binghamton two years later and got a position in the Computer Center while he studied electrical engineering.
BarSimanTov credited McLeod with helping him take the Infrasonic project to an advanced level.
“Ken’s vision is very entrepreneurial,” BarSimanTov said. “He’s helpful. He took me under his wing. He will push you forward and make you a better person.”
BarSimanTov gave a one-word answer about the lessons he learned from McLeod: “Everything!” But he also said he learned a great deal from Binghamton University.
“You have to be persistent,” he said. “Your professors are your friends. This is a friendly environment that helps you move forward. I recommend Binghamton University all of the time because I had a great experience here.”