Nima Ziraknejad |Founder and CEO | NZ Technologies Inc.
Who are you?
I am the CEO and founder of NZ Technologies Inc. (NZTech), an innovative company that works in the field of Human Machine Interaction (HMI) with specialization in 3D machine vision and learning algorithms.
My career has focused on developing technologies to reduce injury, improve workplace safety and improve processes in the biomedical, automotive and natural resource sectors.
I developed NZTech’s core technology while completing my Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia. It originated as an active head restraint (aka headrest) device to mitigate whiplash injuries in rear-end vehicular accidents. The resulting technologies we had developed at NZTech and during my PhD caught the eye of a clinical team of interventional radiologists (Dr. David Liu and Dr. Behrang Homayoon) from UBC Radiology Department, who saw its potential for solving a vexing problem in the operating room (OR).
What are you working on?
Our core product, TIPSO™, allows interventional practitioners to manipulate radiology images without leaving the sterile operating room. The device projects a virtual menu directly on the patient’s drape so that the surgeon can manipulate the images by interacting with the icons on the menu using mouse-like movements during surgery. This has solved a major problem during delicate surgical procedures while also increasing patient throughput, decreasing surgery time, and increasing cognitive focus of the surgeon.
Because the operating environment must remain sterile, surgeons need to scrub out each time they view radiology images of the patient in the non-sterile control room. TIPSO™ eliminates this time consuming process and can reduce surgery time by at least 15-30%. We are currently undergoing clinical validation with our beta prototype at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH), and have received positive feedback from the interventional practitioners.
NZTech is also in search of funding opportunities to continue our successful progress. We recently attended the 38th annual BC Angel Forum and won both the PricewaterhouseCoopers Award for Best Pre-Revenue Company and the Acheson Mobile Award for Best New Technology at the event held on November 30, 2015 which is an exciting achievement for us.
Why are you spending time at Innovation Boulevard?
At Innovation Boulevard, we are making important connections and receiving introductions to key individuals in our industry. In addition to the beneficial resources, our team is in the early stages of working with a resourceful surgeon at Fraser Health, Dr. James Bond, to demonstrate the technology inside an operating room. The goal is to receive useful feedback during a mock surgical simulation without a patient. Feedback from surgeons has helped us improve the design and usability of TIPSO™ to make it an effective tool in modern operating rooms.