The Origins of Braille

At the root of accessibility technology lies braille, a code composed of 63 characters that can be depicted using a six-position matrix of raised dots. The inspiration for braille came from a 12-dot system designed by Charles Barbier. His intent was to enable communication between the mostly illiterate soldiers in the French army and to make communication possible at night; the embossed dots represented sounds that could be felt. This system was not a great success in the army, but young Louis Braille recognized the start of an ingenious concept. Louis was blinded at the age of three during an Read More …

What does that Venture Capital Term Mean? – Part 2

Venture capital (VC) is a form of financing that is private and provided by investors, investment banks, or other financial institutions to startup companies and small businesses, particularly those with long-term growth potential. Often seen as the “engine of economic growth”, venture capital investors provide funds to early-stage companies or start-ups in exchange for equity or ownership stake. To help introduce you to the world of Venture Capital, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common terms in this field. You can find part one of this blog here. Common Venture Capital Terms & Concepts Securities and Exchange Read More …

A New Facet: Accessibility on the Internet

The Internet is tangled with almost every aspect of daily life, from online learning to accessing banking information to communicating with coworkers. It has become a means for finding general information like bus routes, restaurant menus, and local government contact information. Our general reliance on websites to convey this information can prove problematic when the sites in question are not accessible. Accessibility must address a number of facets. Disabilities that may limit web accessibility include visual, cognitive, and hearing impairments, as well as learning disabilities and mobility restrictions. What makes a website accessible? The Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Read More …

What does that Venture Capital Term Mean? – Part 1

Venture Capital (VC) is a form of financing that is private and provided by investors, investment banks, or other financial institutions to startup companies and small businesses, particularly those with long-term growth potential. Often seen as the “engine of economic growth”, venture capital investors provide funds to early-stage companies or start-ups in exchange for equity or ownership stake. To help introduce you to the world of Venture Capital, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common terms in this field. Common Venture Capital Terms & Concepts Venture Capitalist (VC): A venture capitalist is the first term that is Read More …

Six Things to Know about Design Patents

Patents give inventors intellectual property rights by excluding other people from creating, using, or selling an invention for a set period of time. In return, inventors publish an enabling disclosure for the invention, which provides basic technical information about the invention to the public. There are actually several types of patents including plant patents, design patents, and utility patents. Most people think of utility patents when they think of the types of intellectual property that is protected with a patent. For example, machines, software, or manufactured items. However, design patents also play an important role in protecting the inventor’s right Read More …

Six Things to Know About Trademarks

Understanding trademarks and the rights they afford you, as well as understanding how to avoid trademark disputes, are essential to your success and the success of any of your brands or companies. This blog will give a brief overview of 6 essential things to know about trademarks and trademark laws to help aid your understanding of this subject. Trademarks are different from patents and copyrights: Trademarks, copyrights, and patents all protect intellectual property, but they all protect different types of intellectual property. A patent protects inventions, copyright protects original artistic or literary work, and trademarks are reserved for brand names Read More …

What is Informed Consent?

Informed consent is the process of obtaining a patient’s or participant’s permission prior to conducting a medical procedure or investigation on said person. It involves ensuring that the participant completely comprehends and agrees to the potential consequences of any procedures that they will undergo. Examples include, a health care provider asking their patient to consent to a surgical procedure before providing it, or a psychologist discussing information about the study with a future research participant prior to enrolling them into an experimental study. As such, informed consent is collected according to guidelines from the fields of medical ethics and research Read More …

The Institutional Review Boards 101

New discoveries of therapies and drug mechanisms are not always the daily news headline, but today ethical guidelines exist to continue to keep a standard of the production of any new medication or treatment. However, the history of clinical research has not always been so ethical. For instance, the PHS Syphilis Study in Tuskegee, AL and the Willowbrook Hepatitis Experiments, are only two of many notorious examples of horrifically unethical clinical trials. The purpose of this article is to bring light into the role of the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) in relationship to on ongoing  clinical trials today to ensure Read More …

Be Ware of Preprints: Protect Your Intellectual Property First

Who owns the rights to a new innovation described in a research paper? If a patent is in place, the answer is simple: the owner. Generally, the lengthy, and confidential, peer-review process means that authors of unpublished work have ample time to submit an invention disclosure and to have their technology transfer office review and if necessary, file a patent, ensuring that any new invention is protected prior to any public disclosure. However, the rise of “preprint” services, which allow authors to publish preliminary findings ahead of peer-review, has complicated this process. Preprints can severely hamper the ability of authors Read More …

What is PHI?

PHI stands for Protected Health Information and encompasses all information acquired during health care services that could potentially be used to identify an individual. PHI does not only include medical records, but also communications between medical personnel regarding treatment, billing information and health insurance reports. For information to be formally considered PHI under the law, it must be created, received, stored, or transmitted by HIPAA-covered entities. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), covered entities are limited in the types of PHI they can collect from individuals, share with other organizations or use in marketing. HIPAA-covered entities include Read More …