(From Left to Right) Vice Chancellor Guy Diedrich, Dr. Benden, Dr. Wilke, Chancellor John Sharp

(From Left to Right) Vice Chancellor Guy Diedrich, Dr. Benden, Dr. Wilke, Chancellor John Sharp

Mark E. Benden, Ph.D., CPE, assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health, and Eric Wilke, M.D., of the TAMHSC received a Patent Award by The Texas A&M University System Office of Technology Commercialization during an April 26 ceremony.

Awards were given to individuals and teams currently employed by the A&M System and whose inventions were granted patent protection from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in 2012.

The motorcycle ambulance named the AmbiCycle™ is for use in highly congested areas and/or rural locations with limited transportation and emergency services. Dr. Wilke first noticed the need for an inexpensive transport while working in Uganda on medical mission trips.

“It is difficult for most Americans to imagine life without 911 or a local ambulance crew that can respond to your location in minutes. In the developing world, transportation to medical care is unreliable at best, and emergency medicine is an evolving service,” Dr. Wilke said.

AmbiCycle

AmbiCycle (motorcycle ambulance)

“Big box ambulances are not an option, and trailers pulled behind mopeds come with their own set of hazards for driver and patient,” Dr. Benden said. “The AmbiCycle™ places the patient below the driver where communication can be maintained in transit and the vehicle can continue to be nimble and maneuverable.”

The team has now built and tested several generations of prototypes and is seeking a license partner to commercialize the vehicle. This is Dr. Benden’s 19th patent.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell