DeWine sees future of innovation on display at Ohio State

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine got a first-hand glimpse this week into the present and future of engineering research at Ohio State University.

Governor and First Lady Fran DeWine joined President Kristina M. Johnson on a visit to Ohio Assistive Technology (AT Ohio) and the Spine Research Institute.

AT Ohio is a federally funded, nonprofit organization hosted at the College of Engineering. The program offers a loaner library of devices for people with disabilities and their families to borrow assistive technology for and use at home, work or school, helping them to ensure that the technology meets their needs before they buy it.

“All of our programs focus on the types of technology that help people with disabilities,” said Bill Darling, director of AT Ohio.

Darling presented some of the devices the library offers, including tools that help people communicate, navigate if their vision is impaired, and know if they have an educational disability. Darling introduced Governor and Johnson to Brad Whitmoyer, a Lewis Center resident who uses mobility and communication devices provided by AT Ohio.

“Ohio’s assistive technology is a hidden gem in the state of Ohio,” DeWine said. “What they do can transform people’s lives.”

DeWine and Johnson also joined Ayanna Howard, Dean of the College of Engineering, to visit students, faculty and staff and observe demonstrations at the Spine Research Institute (SRI). The institute encourages the work of multidisciplinary teams of researchers from the College of Engineering, the College of Medicine and the Wexner Medical Center to study, treat and prevent disorders of the spine.

Supporting and developing convergent research in the state of Ohio is a priority for Johnson. The university’s recently announced Presidential Research Excellence Fund fuels emerging and converging research that supports national science, medicine and engineering priorities.

SRI director William Marras noted that spinal disorders are the number one reason people miss work and the second disease for which opiates are prescribed. Health care costs for treating spinal disorders exceed $ 100 billion a year, he said.

Marras and members of the SRI research team demonstrated wearable technology that analyzes the way people with spinal cord injuries walk, move and work. The technology illustrates the stress that different tasks can have on the spine and the muscles around it.

SRI team members also highlighted working with the Comprehensive Cancer Center to apply engineering principles to better understand the effects cancer and cancer treatments can have on the spine.

The institute has a 35-year relationship with the state to provide research and expertise to the Bureau of Workers Compensation, helping employees recover from spinal injuries and return to work.

Howard said the IRS emphasizes the importance of engineering research to improving lives.

“Ohio State engineers are looking for solutions at many intersections, perhaps no more important than those involving healthcare. By collaborating with other disciplines and point-of-care experts, engineers can help solve complex problems such as chronic back pain through data-driven analysis, artificial intelligence, and business fundamentals. devices and design, ”she said.

AT Ohio and SRI are success stories that demonstrate how the state can continue to grow and stay vibrant, DeWine said.

“This is something that I think President Johnson is very focused on – not only increasing research in the state of Ohio, but making sure that the research ends up in the community,” he said. -he declares. “There is this vision of Ohio, that it is the go-to place for technology and the go-to place for medical technology.

“We already have all the parts here. We just have to keep pushing and focusing. What we see [at Ohio State] is just another example. “

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