Electrical Impedance Myography in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

I was involved in some very cool projects during my post-MIT years in Boston, working with some very smart people like Lucy Lu Wang, Seward Rutkove and Eugene Williams.

For this Technolog Thursday post – a multicenter study evaluating the effectiveness of EIM in measuring muscle pathology in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular disease that occurs primarily in young males.


Edwin Armstrong’s Impact on Connected Medical Devices

My doctoral work was on the design of ultra-low power circuits and systems for medical devices.

If you’re suffering from insomnia and want to geek out on some math, here’s your chance:

During that time, I came across the work of Edwin Armstrong, who is an engineering hero of mine.

You’re probably wondering exactly who Edwin is but the funny thing is, he’s had a dramatically bigger impact in your life than you know.

Edwin Armstrong was a true genius of the 20th century. He invented wireless communications techniques and architectures that are used to this day – think frequency modulation (FM) and the superheterodyne receiver. He also invented a type of receiver called a “super-regenerative amplifier” (SRA), which is a lot less common these days.

I decided to design an SRA and went down the theoretical rabbit hole to develop a mathematical model that would explain its frequency response.

This was tricky because most systems are linear, time invariant and employ negative feedback. The SRA is nonlinear, time variant, and employs positive feedback, taking advantage of the huge amplification that happens when a system becomes unstable.

It’s fricking genius and one of the reasons I admire Armstrong so much.


An Attic Full of Medical Device Innovation – and a PhD Thesis

A few weeks ago I turned the big 4-0, so I figured I’d go big and share my PhD thesis with you all:

Before grad school, I’d had the good fortune to work on medical devices at GE Healthcare and on wireless chips at Bitwave Semiconductor.

My awesome advisors at MIT allowed me to bring those two worlds together resulting in my doctoral thesis: “Digitally-Assisted, Ultra-Low Power Circuits and Systems for Medical Applications.”

The three and a half years it took me to finish my PhD were the most eventful of my life. I got engaged, married, had my first daughter, and my wife was 9-months pregnant with our second daughter when I defended my thesis.

After getting married, my wife and I rented a house in Winchester, MA with a finished attic.

I spent most of my last year at MIT in that attic writing this thesis and making progress on a startup I co-founded with two other grad students and a Harvard Med School professor.

Needless to say, I was working long hours, so getting to work from home was a great blessing. I could take short breaks throughout the day to spend with my wife and daughter.

More than a decade later, I’m still focused on medical innovation, and I’m back to working from home and spending my breaks with the kiddos.

I guess the more things change…