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Licensing Opportunities are Available for New Products Developed by NIOSH

March 3, 2005
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749

Four innovative research, monitoring, and analytical tools developed and owned by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are available for commercial licensing.

The four NIOSH inventions are:

  • A prototype exposure monitoring system that uses real-time sensors and Local Positioning System linkages. With the monitoring system, employers and practitioners can more quickly and precisely identify “hot spots” of potential hazardous exposures for employees in outdoor occupations who move about frequently during the working day.
  • A fast, simple, and reliable method and apparatus for recording cough sounds for use in diagnosing work-related pulmonary disorders.
  • A computerized system for recognizing and analyzing sounds in the body, such as heart, lung, and bowel sounds. The system can be used for teaching or diagnostic screening. It stores a database of prerecorded sounds, allows the user to select a sound for playback, and filters the playback to cancel distortions and reproduce the sound accurately.
  • An automated “nail press test” for measuring the rate and volume at which blood returns to the finger after the fingernail is pressed. Blood flow in the fingers may provide an early index for identifying work-related impairments such as hand-arm vibration disorder. Unlike a traditional test in which the rate of blood-flow return is estimated based on visual observation, the automated test provides objective, quantitative data.

“NIOSH has always been an incubator for new products that improve the workplace and fuel the U.S. economy, and under our Research to Practice initiative, r2p, we have made those goals a centerpiece of our research planning,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “We encourage our partners to explore the commercial opportunities offered by these new inventions, and to join with us in further r2p initiatives.”

A March 1, 2005, notice in the Federal Register announces the availability of the four inventions for licensing, and provides names and addresses of contacts for licensing and technical information. The notice is available at

For further information about r2p, visit the NIOSH web page at More information about NIOSH research is available from the NIOSH toll-free information number, 1-800-35-NIOSH (1-800-356-4674).