USD, Sioux Valley join to support Vermillion Health Education software

USD, Sioux Valley join to support Vermillion Health Education software South Dakota Health Technology Innovations, Inc. (SDHTI), a research and development company specializing in educational software and health related technologies, recently opened its educational software development division, Pull*U*In Software, in Vermillion.

Established in December of 2000, SDHTI is a spin off small

business from the South Dakota Health Research Foundation, which is a collaborative venture between Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System and The University of South Dakota.

The grand opening of the Vermillion Pull*U*In Software division was held July 18.

SDHTI's mission is to commercialize university research, address the needs of the healthcare sector using cutting edge technologies and create high quality jobs for graduates of USD and other South Dakota institutions. Dr. Robert Talley, dean of the USD School of Medicine and member of the SDHTI Board of Directors said, "Ideas don't help patients. Applications of ideas do. SDHTI is our mechanism for moving ideas into action."

The company is using the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to fund many of its research and development projects. To date, SDHTI has received over $400,000 in SBIR Phase I funding to research and develop five different products. The projects include:

* EMT Recertification: The Department of Defense contracted to develop an Internet-based Emergency Medical Technician's recertification program.

* Middle School Science Education: The Department of Education contracted to develop an Internet or CD-ROM based middle school science education module to aid in teaching cell biology and introduce students to careers in healthcare. The prototype system was tested in the Vermillion Middle School in February, and a $300,000 Phase II project is currently pending with the Department of Education.

* Unlicensed Assistive Healthcare Personnel: On May 15, a Phase I USDA SBIR project was funded to develop an online interactive training program for Unlicensed Assistive Personnel working in healthcare facilities. Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System and the Good Samaritan Society are partnering in this development project and will be the initial test facilities.

* Middle School Alcohol Abuse Prevention: The company will soon begin a Phase I SBIR project for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to develop an Internet-based alcohol abuse prevention program for middle school students. The project will use an innovative morphing technology to illustrate how alcohol use affects the individual's body.

* Stomach Ulcer Prevention: Through a joint venture between the USD School of Medicine and Sioux Valley Hospital, an innovative new product is being tested that will help prevent stomach ulcers. The initial tests will be completed this summer.

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