What is Openwater trying to achieve in Healthcare?
Openwater is creating MRI-resolution wearables that leverage consumer electronics manufacturing facilities and techniques with a physics breakthrough based on a now half-century-old technique, mostly forgotten, and re-invented every decade or so by a group that didn’t know about the previous go-arounds. I figured out how to build this half-century-old physical principle into consumer electronic devices that can be made in the world’s high volume manufacturing facilities and also leverage the awesome compute power and AI methods we have at our fingertips today.
The result can drive the size and cost of the best medical imaging systems down to consumer electronic prices. I will not guarantee the first systems we ship hit smartphone pricing; in our first products we may choose to cover development and amortization expenses. Yet at volume production, we see no reason why we can not achieve consumer electronics pricing. Our systems, as they evolve, can ultimately both read (image) and write (perform surgery, ablate, provide targeted therapy, accelerate drug testing, etc) to specific areas of the body or scan the entire body. And beyond. The very same systems can be used to read thoughts and pull the images that you are thinking of, the words that you are about to say, and whether you are really listening to what I’m saying or not as has been shown for the past 5 years by dozens of research groups using fMRI machines to do this. These fMRI machines image 10 cubic mm voxels of oxygen use in the brain to be achieve these results. Openwater systems can go well beyond this.
Openwater is a moonshot to telepathy; to reading and writing thoughts and connecting our minds directly to each other and to our computer networks. Our approach is incremental - we are enabling a suite of products along the way towards our moonshot that can be transformational in healthcare.
Some of the best diagnostic tools in healthcare are the multi-million dollar MRI, PET and CT scanners that can see inside of our bodies at high resolution. They diagnose conditions, more accurately than was possible before, earlier than possible before, and save millions of lives.
At Openwater we are transforming diagnostic imaging tools to make them widely available and portable. The portability together with low cost enable something not yet possible - continuous monitoring of the body with high resolution images of our insides. We are working to provide high resolution continuous imaging systems that leapfrog the room-size multi-million dollar systems of today and can be deployed in homes, ambulances, doctor’s offices, and throughout the developing world. That means better, faster and cheaper - lowering the cost from millions of dollars to consumer electronics levels all in the size of a portable.
We are creating a wearable with the resolution of a multi-million dollar MRI system that can fit into a ski hat, a bandage, or a piece of clothing. This could enable diagnosis of all kinds of conditions from cancers, to clogged arteries, to internal bleeding to never-before-possible monitoring of brain diseases - from mental diseases to neurodegenerative diseases that currently disable approximately one billion people globally and account for together, by far, the highest healthcare expenditure in the world. Non-invasive continuous monitoring of neurological conditions can enable better care, better therapy, the ability to titrate therapy or localize therapy and will likely help us better understand and someday cure mental diseases and neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen - Founder & CEO
Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen is the founder of Openwater whose goal is a wearable with MRI-plus resolution that can enable telepathy as well as drastically transform diagnostic costs for healthcare. Previously she was an engineering executive at Facebook, Oculus, Google and Intel. In addition Mary Lou has founded 4 startups including One Laptop per Child where she was CTO, chief architect and delivered to mass production the $100 laptop.
Her startup CEO experience includes the world’s only fabless display screen company which was based in Taipei. She has been a professor at both MITs: RMIT in Australia and MIT in Cambridge. She is an inventor of over 200 published or issued patents and has shipped billions of dollars worth of consumer electronics on the hairy edge of what the physics will do. She has been recognized with many awards including TIME magazine’s “Time 100” as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and as a CNN top 10 thinker.
Our goal is to create a wearable to enable us to see the inner workings of the body and brain at high resolution. Using novel opto-electronics we aim to replace the functionality of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) with a true wearable enabling constant monitoring. Implications are broad for detection and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, internal bleeding, mental diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and beyond - for communication via thought.
We use an utterly unconventional approach that enables us to leapfrog MRI technology by using the scattering of the body or the brain itself to focus infrared light to scan the brain or body bit by bit or voxel by voxel. This is enabled by LCDs with pixels small enough to create reconstructive holographic images that neutralize the scattering and enable scanning at MRI resolution and depth coupled with the use of body-temperature detectors. These LCDs and detectors line the inside of a ski-hat, bandage or other clothing. We are making our own LCDs to do this in the vast factories that make liquid crystal displays - custom designed to modulate the interference of intensity and phase in the near infrared regime with the video-rate computer generated holograms integrated with embedded detectors. We can scan out the brain or body systematically or selectively. This basic system can be used in reverse, to write, to focus light to any area of interest in the body or brain (to irradiate tumors for example).
This technology enables continuous scanning of the body and brain in the form of a true wearable the size of a ski-hat or bandage. The implications of this architecture are profound for healthcare and can even enable communication with thought alone (as has been well documented by neuroscientists using the room size MRI scanners). With read/write ability - we may be able to upload/download and augment our memories, thoughts and emotions with a ski-hat form factor, non-invasively.
Source : https://www.openwater.cc/