Vecna Cares

Vecna Cares to hold second annual Robot Race

The Second Annual Robot Race will be held on Sunday, April 10, 2016 in Cambridge MA, near the Alewife T Station. The human course is a chip-timed 5k and the robot race is a 100 yard obstacle-filled dash. Join us for prizes, food, raffles, and more!

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Where Technology and Medicine Meet in Rural Zambia

By James Jeffrey, Inter Press Service

When health officer Kennedy Mulenga was faced with a male patient developing breasts at the remote Ngwerere Clinic 30km north of the Zambian capital, Lusaka, he logged onto Virtual Doctors to get help solving the medical mystery.

After taking notes and creating a patient file he took a photo with the camera in his computer and then uploaded all the information to the Internet cloud.

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Inspired By the Special Olympic World Games

By Rick Seiden, Rise Solutions Group

I had a magical experience working as a volunteer at the 2015 Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles this summer.   I supported basketball at the University of Southern California’s Gayland Center; and while there, I was impressed by how smoothly this and the entire event ran considering there were: 10,000 athletes, 2,000 coaches, 30,000 volunteers from nearly 200 countries.

I kept saying to my fellow Special Olympic volunteers, “I’m amazed how they pulled these games off; the coordination of such an event is overwhelming!”

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Special Olympics to Unveil Global Digital Health Information Management System at World Games

CAMBRIDGE, MA–(Jul 24, 2015) – Special Olympics has contracted with Vecna Cares to create a global digital health system with a goal to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. The international non-profit will use VecnaCares’ CliniPAK, a turnkey health data capture platform with plug-and-play implementation and multi-site reporting capabilities for low resource health delivery scenarios. CliniPAK will support healthcare professionals in standardizing data collection for patient records during health examinations at Special Olympics Health events. Special Olympics will unveil the system at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, beginning July 25.

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What happens when you bring a robot to an Ebola Ward

In November, with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa showing no signs of slowing, the list of people climbing aboard planes to Liberia and Sierra Leone was not terribly long. Deborah Theobald, the co-founder of Cambridge-based health care company Vecna Technologies, was one of them. Accompanying her were two new tools that, it was hoped, could aid health workers trying to care for stricken patients.

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First stop road race, next stop NASA

MIT Robotics Team rover competes against 22 machines in a robot race to support alumna-founded global health organization Vecna Cares.

What does the MIT Robotics Team do on a lovely spring Sunday? Compete in a robot race, of course.

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Robot road race helps save lives

When Daniel Theobald ’95, SM ’98 and Deborah Noel Theobald ’95 founded their company Vecna Technologies they knew that it had to somehow involve robots, technology, healthcare, and strive to take good care of the world. After 17 years, they’ve managed to achieve all of this and that commitment literally hit the road in April when they put on a 5K and robot race to help raise money for their newest non-profit venture.

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Vecna Robot Sprint presents challenge to WPI robots

“The race is not to the swift,” and, in the short term at least, nor is it always to those who finish.

Neither of WPI’s entries completed the Vecna Robot Sprint Challenge in Cambridge earlier this month. Hydro Dog, the four-legged robot powered by artificial muscles, had started walking just days before the competition, so going the 100-meter distance would probably be too much to expect. And WALRUS, the amphibious rover, ran into problems with its wireless networks, making it difficult to control.

But both projects are works in progress, with potential implications that go far beyond any race course.

Read the full article here.

Design News features VecnaCares’ 5k and Robot Sprint Challenge

In the robotics field, there’s much discussion about the imminent intersection of humans and robots in daily life. In a glimpse of possible future scenarios, the two will come together for a good cause Sunday, April 12, at the first Robot Race and Human 5K in Cambridge, Mass., to celebrate the end of National Robotics Week.

While humans participate in a 5K run, robots will participate in a sprint designed especially for them at the event, the proceeds of which will benefit the Vecna Cares Charitable Trust. The organization brings healthcare technology and innovation to underserved communities in the US and overseas.

Read the full article here.

Vecna Cares’ Executive Director Deborah Theobald elected to MassTLC Board

Deborah Theobald, Executive Director of Vecna Cares was elected to the MassTLC board of advisors. The elections were held during MassTLC’s Annual Board Meeting on March 19. The Board  currently consists of 28 senior executives who collectively represent interests of the organization’s 500 member companies and serve as a proxy for the tech ecosystem in Massachusetts.

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Empire State Tribune covers Vecna’s Robot Race

Imagine a scene where a bulky and rugged robot designed for search and rescue operation and a lanky frail looking rival that bounces away using a hydraulic appendages, will be meeting in a contest together with over a dozen of other robots in the initial Vecna Robot Sprint Challenge outside Boston.

The robots are designed by teams of students at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The contest will involve contestants including those from commercially built machines that weighs hundreds of pounds to remote controlled cars assembled by student enthusiasts.

Read the full article here.

Robot racing sparks enthusiasm in US students

A hefty robot designed for search-and-rescue and a spindly four-legged rival that bounds along on hydraulic limbs will face off next month along with more than a dozen other entrants in the debut Vecna Robot Sprint Challenge outside Boston.

The robots, designed by student teams at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will be racing a lineup ranging from commercial available machines weighing hundreds of pounds to remote control cars jerry-rigged by teenage hobbyists.

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3 ways mHealth helped stop the spread of Ebola

Darrell West, VP and Director of Governance Studies, and Joshua Bleiberg, Research Analyst in Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institute discuss the role of mHealth in the Ebola response. During the height of the Ebola crisis in September 2014 there were 21 confirmed cases of the virus and 8 deaths in Nigeria. There were a variety of factors that contributed to Nigeria’s success at combating the disease. One important factor was the use of mobile electronic health records programs. Mobile technology helped healthcare workers in three primary ways: through providing a framework for training healthcare workers, aiding in rapid data collection, and providing a method for sharing that data for swifter action.

Read the full article here.

Government Health IT Covers Vecna Cares’ mHealth Efforts in Ebola Response

Delving into the role that technologies played in the battle against Ebola, analyst and experts suggested that many lessons can be gleaned from the year since the outbreak.

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, for instance, Vecna Technologies armed healthcare teams with CliniPAKs, mobile servers that can be powered by car battery. Debbie Theobald, Vecna’s co-founder and executive director of the company’s Vecna Cares charitable arm, said the remote hubs were deployed in so-called “green zones” in each country, and linked to tablets carried by healthcare workers in quarantined “red zones” to provide immediate care to infected patients, mHealth News Editor Eric Wicklund reported on Friday.

Read the full story here.

Vecna Cares Joins Brookings Institute Panel on mHealth in Africa

Mobile technology is upending how healthcare is delivered in Africa. Mobile devices and mobile health (mHealth) services have, for example, revolutionized maternal care, chronic disease prevention, and the management of Ebola and malaria epidemics. Innovations in mHealth have shown to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of African medical systems through patient tracking and reporting, as well as extend critically needed health services to underserved areas, found both in rural and urban African communities.

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AmeriCares Blog features Vecna Cares’ Executive Director

Vecna Cares, Vecna’s charitable foundation, brings healthcare IT and infrastructure to rural and underserved communities worldwide. Vecna Cares is working with AmeriCares to reduce health disparities worldwide. AmeriCares is an emergency response and global health organization committed to saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis in the United States and around the world.

Read our guest blog on AmeriCares’ website.  Vecna Cares’ Executive Director, Deborah Theobald talks about overcoming barriers to electronic data capture in healthcare no matter the location.