OwlSpark | Rice University Startup Accelerator | TeamWise: EVA
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TeamWise: EVA

Many procedures in the medical world require inserting a “line,” a needle placed deep into an artery or vein to administer fluids and track patient vitals in real-time. Physicians use ultrasound technology to insert these lines, splitting their view of the body into a 2-D plane. The problem is, it’s easy to lose sight of the needle’s tip, causing unwanted poking and stabbing.

To solve this problem, Rocky Browder, Erik Wu, Jenaesha Browder, and Tyler Melton came together to form EVA. EVA is a novel device that clips onto the ultrasound’s head to hold the needle in the viewing plane. Their technology is separated from other needle guides on the market due to its ability to be adjusted on the fly for different anatomies and other situational factors. Their technology in the hands of physicians can reduce bleeding complications from improper vascular access—saving time, effort, and money for hospitals, and giving patients better outcomes.

The idea was inspired by Rocky’s observations of vascular surgery in which physicians repeatedly failed to insert lines without piercing unintended areas. In October 2019, he presented his concept to Erik and Tyler, who, at the time, were students in the Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at Rice University.

Through OwlSpark, they were able to leverage an extensive network to gain valuable connections in the medical field and conduct a more significant number of patient interviews than would have been possible on their own. They also benefited greatly from the prototype funds available, giving them the ability to construct their product’s foundation. After the COVID-19 pandemic, they hope to gain greater access to hospitals and physicians to spread awareness of their product.

Before joining EVA, Tyler studied Biomedical Engineering and Cellular-Molecular Biology at the University of Texas. He also recently finished his MBA at Rice. Erik also studied Biomedical Engineering, adding on a minor in Global Health Technologies at Rice University. He received his Masters in Bioengineering through the Rice Global Medical Innovation program. Jenaesha studied Cello Performance with a minor in music theory and later earned a Masters in Cello Performance.

Outside of their startup, Rocky works as an M.D. resident at Baylor College of Medicine. Tyler enjoys traveling—he’s been to 42 countries! Jenaesha spends her time sewing and sculpting. She also teaches students the cello using her extensive background in music. Erik, on the other hand, is a big fan of cooking. “I’m a bit of a foodie, I love going to restaurants to try new things,” he said excitedly.