Longview, Texas (KETK)–Engineering students at LeTourneau university have pulled off something rather interesting.
They won first place in a world health competition for their work on a bio-medical device.
Their creation will soon be a major help in medical missions overseas.
The students managed to create an easier, and non-invasive, way to measure iron levels in people’s blood.
“This works by using a standard finger clip, like you would see at any doctor’s office, and it reads the hemoglobin value in your blood using different wavelengths of light,” said Jacob Landreth, LETU Senior Biochemical Engineering Student.
Without this device physicians serving in third would countries would need to prick a finger and smear the blood on a strip to measure the hemoglobin levels.
This equipment saves money by negating the need for any consumables.
Not only is this method much cheaper and less invasive, but it’s also a much cleaner alternative.
“There is not finger prick, there’s no chance of infection, we don’t have to worry about blood or any of that, any cross-contamination,” said Landreth.
It was a team effort.
The bio engineering majors weren’t alone, they were joined with other disciplines such as: electrical, mechanical and computer engineers.
“They had to solve a number of problems, they had to learn to work together as a team, they had to solve technical problems and then to be able to write this up in a way they could submit to the competition,” said Dr. Paul Leiffer, Professor of Biomedical Engineering.
A victory in this international competition not only puts a trophy on the shelf but will actually do some good in the world.
“Any person can use it,” said Dr. Leiffer. “They don’t need to be trained, it’s very simple to use.”
“It’s kind of cool,” said Landreth. “I don’t know how many people know about engineering world health or how big it is, but it’s a good opportunity for LeTourneau to get some good publication and get their name out there.”
This was LeTourneau’s first time entering this competition, proving that when East Texans enter the standard goes up.
Last year the first place winner was Purdue and this year’s second place winner was Clemson.
LeTourneau rose above competition from some much larger schools, making this victory all the more special