Developing More Accuracy in Treatments and Diagnosis Powered by Capsules and Wireless Technology with Doug Miller
Doug Miller is the Chief Technology Officer at SmartTab and a Senior Engineer with wide experience in developing biomedical devices, designing software and prototypes, and just about everything that involves electronics, computer systems, and technology.
Doug will join us in this episode to talk about the innovations they’re currently working on in SmartTab for the Healthtech industry and how wireless technology plays a critical role in the accuracy and efficacy of diagnosis and treatments of various diseases especially cancer and other critical conditions. More interestingly, he’ll show us the wonders of pursuing our passions and spending the rest of our lives doing the things we love.
“Think carefully on what you want to do as a career. Make sure it’s something you really enjoy and it’s going to make you happy. Because you’re going to spend a large percentage of the rest of your life doing that.”- Doug Miller [21:35]
What is your background? [00:53]
He majored in electrical engineering in college with a strong interest in aviation. During his senior years, he joined a research project and helped develop a medical technology called diagnostic artificial intelligence. It’s a system designed to help diagnose cancer conditions.
That project got him hooked and paved the way to his decision to stay in the medical field. He earned his Ph.D. and worked in the academe for the last 30 years, and has spent an ample amount of time developing devices.
At present, he’s the smarts and brains behind SmartTab. He’s the hands-on guy who carries a heavy responsibility in the overall operation of the company. His roles vary from creating designs, manufacturing prototypes, and testing these prototypes.
He’s in charge of testing wireless design capabilities, design, and fabrication. As soon as the prototypes are built, he takes them out to research facilities for testing and clinical trials. He’s also responsible for protecting intellectual properties and informing investors what their technology is composed of.
They’re currently working on wireless technology to provide a drug delivery system that targets drug delivery to target areas in the body and achieve more efficacy in providing treatments while eliminating most of the side effects of the drugs being ingested in the body. Other areas they’re working on is producing multidose capsules that cater to patients who have to take in multiple drugs daily, especially antibiotics. And finally, a capsule that is in charge of collecting specimens in the body for diagnosis and lab testing.
How did he identify the problem in the old method of drug delivery and what are the steps he took to offer solutions? [16:48]
He reviewed the old method of delivering drugs to the patients as a sort of problematic in the sense that it takes time for the drugs to reach targeted areas in the body that need treatment. Another hindrance in ensuring the drugs being ingested reach the target areas is the patients’ diet. This triggers the prescription of higher doses of medicines which results in an increased amount of side effects in the body. They developed a capsule powered by wireless technology to work on the delivery of drugs to the target areas of the body, exactly when it’s needed, hence decreasing the side effects and making the treatments more effective.
Are there other developments being worked on involving wireless technology? [09:36]
He is currently looking at the potential advantages in digital medicine technology like the multi-dose platform which is particularly important for patients who are taking antibiotics in multiple doses several times of the day. Another area they’re developing is technology around diagnostics where they release a capsule to collect samples and specimens like a stool in particular areas of the digestive tract.
What are the obstacles he encountered while developing this wireless technology and how did he overcome them? [11:28]
The capsule that is in charge of delivering drugs in targeted areas of the body is powered by wireless technology. It is autonomous and requires external forces and external devices to tell the capsule what to do and when to do it and if it is in the right place. Wireless tracking is a key part of the whole delivery system and the challenge is in developing the power part of it. Knowing how far away the capsule in the system is tricky. He had to develop another technology to address that. Progress has been made and tests are being performed to ensure the success of this new technology. A few more improvements are needed but the team is continuously working on it.
What feedback are they getting from the potential investors and benefactors of this innovation? [17:18]
When this technology was still nothing but an idea, it was difficult to get people interested. Now they are starting to get excited because clinical trials and tests have been done and they’re seeing the successful results as well as the huge benefits and impact of this technology to the Health Tech industry. The positive feedback they received in the presentations caused them to expand their platforms.
Doug Miller answers the rapid-fire round of questions. [18:50]