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Researchers to discuss technology for remote health systems

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 7, 2006) -- Could medical treatment be possible one day on Mars? Ohio University researchers Kira Bacal and Mario Grijalva will discuss the role of biomedical technology in medical systems for remote locations in a free, public lecture Wed., Nov. 8, from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in Stocker Center 103. Free pizza and drinks will be provided.

In their talk, "Using Biomedical Technology to Improve Rural Health: From Ecuador to Mars," Bacal and Grijalva will share some of the challenges presented by modern technology when it is used to enable clinicians to assist patients and researchers to gather data in increasingly far-off areas. Technology users often receive minimal or no training, requiring extremely user friendly interfaces and built-in trouble shooting. 

Bacal, a 2004-05 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in the office of Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), is an assistant professor for Ohio University's Voinovich Center and College of Osteopathic Medicine. Also the director of the university's Appalachian Rural Health Institute, Bacal was formerly a chief clinical consultant at NASA-Johnson Space Center, where she designed medical systems for use in low-earth orbit and on exploration-class missions to the moon and Mars. 

Grijalva is currently an associate professor of biomedical sciences at Ohio University and director of the College of Osteopathic Medicine's Tropical Disease Institute. Also director of the Infectious Disease Research Center at Catholic University of Ecuador, he is researching how to use information technology to increase the effectiveness of the Chagas Disease Control Program in rural areas of Loja Province, near the border between Ecuador and Peru. 

The lecture is sponsored by the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology and the Society for Women Engineers.

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Director of Media Relations Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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