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  • Meeting report
  • Open Access

Proceedings of the second biennial Cleveland Neural Engineering Workshop 2013

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Bioelectronic Medicine20184:15

https://doi.org/10.1186/s42234-018-0016-5

  • Received: 19 September 2018
  • Accepted: 8 October 2018
  • Published:

Abstract

The Cleveland Neural Engineering Workshop (NEW) is a biennial meeting started in 2011 as an “unconference” to bring together leaders in the neural engineering and related fields. Since the first iteration of the meeting, NEW has evolved from “just getting together” to a more important purpose of creating, reviewing, and promoting a uniform strategic roadmap for the field. The purpose of this short report, as well as the companion 2015 and 2017 reports, is to provide a historical record of this meeting and the evolution of the roadmap. These reports more importantly establish a baseline for the next meeting to be held in June, 2019. The second Neural Engineering Workshop (NEW) was held in June 2013. The two-day workshop was hosted by the Cleveland Advanced Platform for Technology National Veterans Affairs Center, the Functional Electrical Stimulation National Veterans Affairs Center, and the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Participants identified seven areas of future focus in the field of neural engineering: active communications with users, advocacy (regulatory), network building (clinical practice), case studies (clinical and technical), early industrial feedback, value chain resources, engagement, and advocacy (funding). This proceedings document summarizes the meeting outcome.

Keywords

  • Neural
  • Engineering
  • Strategy
  • Infrastructure
  • Advocacy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Nervous system

Introduction

The goal was to bring together the neural engineering stakeholders with the specific purpose of developing a strategic plan, an infrastructure plan and best practices for the community. In June 2013 a select group of individuals were invited to participate in the Cleveland Neural Engineering Workshop (NEW). Individuals were selected based on their knowledge, contributions and advocacy to their respective fields. Action committees were comprised of 9–15 members. Each action committee was led by a provocateur(s) and included at least one executive committee member as a discussant (Table 1). Discussions from the members in attendance (Table 2) resulted in eight action items that the workshop identified as important to progress in neural engineering: active communications with users, advocacy (regulatory), network building (clinical practice), case studies (clinical and technical), early industrial feedback, value chain resources, engagement, and advocacy (funding). These items grew from initial discussion in the 2011 meeting (Table 3) and are summarized below.
Table 1

ClevelandNEW 2013 session summary. The table lists the eight planned sessions along with the last name(s) of the provocateur(s) and discussant assigned to lead those sessions

Session Title

Provocateur(s)

Discussant

Introduction

Tyler

Gustafson/Tyler

User/Consumer

French

Anderson

Regulatory/Reimbursement

Moynahan

Ajiboye

Clinical Practice

Litt

Weber

Technology/Innovation

Kilgore/Loeb

Perreault

Industry Translation

Denison

Williams

Funding

Kleitman/Kusiak

Gustafson

Summary

Tyler

Gustafson/Tyler

Table 2

List of ClevelandNEW 2013 workshop participants

Name

Institution (in 2013)

Name

Institution (in 2013)

Ajiboye, Bolu

Case Western Res Univ

Loeb, Gerald

Univ of S California

Anderson, Kimberly

Univ of Miami

Marasco, Paul

Louis Stokes Cle VA

Bensmaia, Sliman

Univ of Chicago

McIntyre, Cameron

Case Western Res Univ

Bourbeau, Dennis

Case Western Res Univ

Merrill, Dan

Ripple, LLC

Brill, Natalie

Case Western Res Univ

Miller, Jonathan

Case Western Res Univ

Brose, Steve

Louis Stokes Cle VA

Miller, Lee

Northwestern Univ

Capadona, Jeffrey

Case Western Res Univ

Mohseni, Pedram

Case Western Res Univ

Cullen, D. Kacy

Univ of Pennsylvania

Moynahan, Megan

Inst for Func Recovery

Denison, Timothy

Medtronic

Muthuswamy, Jit

Arizona State Univ

Durand, Dominique

Case Western Res Univ

Otto, Kevin

Purdue Univ

Fisher, Lee

Case Western Res Univ

Peckham, Hunter

Case Western Res Univ

French, Jennifer

Neurotech Network

Perreault, Eric

Northwestern Univ

Gaunt, Robert

Univ of Pittsburgh

Polacek, Laura

MetroHealth Med Cntr

Guillory, Shane

Ripple, LLC

Schiefer, Matt

CWRU & Cle VA

Gustafson, Kenneth

Case Western Res Univ

Sensinger, Jon

Rehab Inst of Chicago

Hess, Allison

CWRU & Cle VA

Solanki, Swarna

Case Western Res Univ

Johnson, Matthew

Univ of Minnesota

Triolo, Ronald

CWRU & Cle VA

Keith, Michael W.

MetroHealth Med Cntr

Tyler, Dustin

CWRU & Cle VA

Kilgore, Kevin

MetroHealth Med Cntr

Wagenaar, Joost

Univ of Pennsylvania

Kirsch, Bob

CWRU & Cle VA

Weber, Douglas

Univ of Pittsburgh

Kleitman, Naomi

Craig H. Neilsen Found

Williams, Justin

Univ of Wisconsin

Kusiak, Audrey

Dept of Veterans Affairs

Williams, Matt

Louis Stokes Cle VA

Litt, Brian

Univ of Pennsylvania

Zorman, Christian

Case Western Res Univ

Table 3

List of ClevelandNEW 2011 workshop participants

Name

Institution (in 2011)

Name

Institution (in 2011)

Ajiboye, Bolu

Cleveland FES Center

Lavik, Erin

Case Western Res Univ

Batista, Aaron

Univ of Pittsburgh

Lujan, Luis

Cleveland Clinic

Bikson, Marom

City Univ of New York

McIntyre, Cameron

Cleveland Clinic

Bourbeau, Dennis

Univ of Pittsburgh

Mohseni, Pedram

Case Western Res Univ

Bretl, Timothy

U. Illinois at U-C

Moran, Dan

Washington Univ

Brose, Steven

Cleveland FES Center

Murphey, Todd

Northwestern Univ

Bruns, Tim

Univ of Pittsburgh

Naqvi, Hassan

Cleveland Clinic

Butson, Christopher

Med Col of Wisconsin

Otto, Kevin

Purdue Univ

Capadona, Jeffrey

Case Western Res Univ

Peckham, P. Hunter

Cleveland FES Center

Carney, Paul

Univ of Florida

Perreault, Eric

Northwestern Univ

Chestek, Cynthia

Stanford University

Pinault, Gilles

Louis Stokes Clev VA

Cui, Xinyan

Univ of Pittsburgh

Putnam, David

Cornell Univ

Dorval, Chuck

Univ of Utah

Sachs, Nich

Northwestern Univ

Dukelow, Sean

Univ of Calgary

Schiefer, Matthew

Case Western Res Univ

Fridman, Gene

Johns Hopkins Univ

Shenoy, Krishna

Stanford Univ

Gaunt, Robert

Univ of Pittsburgh

Shoham, Shy

Technion

Gilbert, Ryan

Rensselaer Polytech Inst

Sloan, Andrew

University Hospitals

Gliha, Karen

n/a

Slutzky, Marc

Northwestern Univ

Gliha, Tom

n/a

Stegemann, Jan

Univ of Michigan

Gustafson, Kenneth

CWRU & Cle VAMC

Sutter, Maria

n/a

Hasenwinkel, Julie

Syracuse Univ

Taylor, Dawn

Clev Clinic & Cle VA

Helms-Tillery, Stephen

Arizona State Univ

Triolo, Ronald

CWRU & Cle VA

Hess, Allison

Case Western Res Univ

Tyler, Dustin

CWRU & Cle VA

Ho, Chester

Univ of Calgary

Ustin, Jeffrey

MetroHealth Med Cntr

Hoyen, Harry

MetroHealth Med Cntr

Wang, Wei

Univ of Pittsburgh

Jarosiewicz, Beata

Brown Univ

Weber, Doug

Univ of Pittsburgh

Kelly, Clay

Louis Stokes Cle VA

Wheeler, Don

n/a

Kirsch, Robert

Cleveland FES Center

Yu, Byron

Carnegie Mellon Univ

Kusiak, Audrey

Dept of Veterans Affairs

Zorman, Christian

Case Western Res Univ

Active communications with users

Members of the workshop voiced concerns regarding communication between scientists and end-users. Scientists do not fully understand end-users’ needs (the input specifications), while end-users are not sufficiently aware of available technologies. There is insufficient communication between the end-user and the research enterprise. Therefore, improved bidirectional communication with the end-user is needed. Improved communication methods, consumer education programs, and common collective messaging might achieve this.

Regulatory advocacy and reimbursement

The research community is insufficiently aware of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, upcoming changes to regulations, and the impact regulations have on research. Current regulations are predominately designed for commercial interests to achieve marketing approval. Testing requirements are suboptimal for early-phase, academic research. Moreover, increased requirements are becoming prohibitive to academic clinical research. As single voices, researchers have limited capability to change or affect the FDA. Therefore, stakeholders must join together to voice their concerns, as well as partner with larger interests in order to address the needs of the community.

Network building for clinical practice

Members of the workshop recognized the complex challenges faced by clinicians when incorporating neural engineering into daily clinical practice. It was also recognized that inclusion of clinical colleagues in the development of neural technology would result in mutual benefits to scientists and clinicians. Building networks of clinicians interested in neural engineering may be an efficient and effective method to bridge the current communications gap. Clinician education is also an important step in building these networks and ultimately moving neural engineering into mainstream clinical practice. Therefore, there is a need for development of continuing education courses designed to train clinicians in neural engineering.

Clinical and technical case studies

There is a paucity of accurate and objective sources regarding success or failure or neural engineering technology. This has led to dissemination of misinformation to stakeholders.

Similarly, there is a lack of a “best practices collection” for clinicians and researchers. This has led to individual reallocation of time and resources to solve challenges that may already have been addressed with success by others in the field. Therefore, there is a need for development of a clinical cases data and resource module that is user-friendly and scalable for the future.

Early industrial feedback

The workshop members agreed, “We have a classical problem of building hammers and looking for nails.” The pathway from technology to implementation could be expedited if a feedback mechanism with industry was available early in the technology development process. Therefore, the community must develop best practices and create opportunities to engage in industrial feedback early on in the technology development life cycle.

Value chain resources

Corporations employ models of technology assessment - a technology value chain. The value chains for different companies are different. Having insight into the value chains and pathways may help optimize the research and design process. Therefore, the goal is to develop a resource of this information available to the community.

Engagement

There are significant challenges to securing funding in this space. One reason may be the lack of involvement by stakeholders. General funding development and the subsequent review process for awards would greatly benefit from improved engagement by researchers and leaders in the field. Currently, community leadership does not sufficiently engage in professional obligations such as review panels, advocacy in congress, and other national service-related activity. Therefore, the goal of this action committee is to engage in support and service.

Advocacy for funding

Currently, there are assumptions and misinformation regarding funding, as well as lack of clarity by the research community, as to the appropriate funding mechanisms for their work. Ideally, a resource would be generated that would supply or connect the community to: funding resource road maps, information graphics, and other guides that are or may become available. This one-stop-shop of funding information should also be used to collect user feedback to assist in identifying funding mechanism appropriateness and utilization. In addition to appropriately allocating funding, it is of utmost importance that the research community provides information and justification for additional investments in new opportunities. Therefore, this action item will support consumer advocacy, veteran services organizations, Congress and appropriate lobbying organizations.

Abbreviations

FDA: 

Food and Drug Administration

NEW: 

Neural Engineering Workshop

Declarations

Funding

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Award Number: Cleveland FES Center. Recipient: Dustin J. Tyler, PhD.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Award Number: Cleveland APT Center. Recipient: Dustin J. Tyler, PhD.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Award Number: R13HD078115. Recipient: Kenneth Gustafson, PhD.

Authors’ contributions

KA, BA, TD, JF, KG, KK, NK, AK, BL, MM, EP, DW, JW, and DT wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Case Western Reserve Univ, Cleveland, OH, USA
(2)
Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA
(3)
Dept of Biomedical Engineering Case Western Reserve Univ, Cleveland, OH, USA
(4)
Nuffeild Dept of Clinical Neurosciences Oxford University, Oxford, UK
(5)
Neurotech Reports, San Francisco, CA, USA
(6)
Dept of Orthopaedics MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA
(7)
Craig H Neilsen Foundation, Encino, CA, USA
(8)
Rehabilitation Research and Development Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC, USA
(9)
Dept of Neurology and Dept of Bioengineering Univ of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
(10)
Institute for Functional Recovery, Cleveland, OH, USA
(11)
Dept of Biomedical Engineering Northwesten University, Chicago, IL, USA
(12)
Dept of Bio Engineering University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
(13)
Dept of Biomedical Engineering Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Copyright

© The Author(s) 2018

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