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Dr. Richard Boyer Awarded FAER Grant

Dr. Richard Boyer is the recipient of an NIA/FAER GEMSSTAR grant for his project titled “Evaluation of Wearables for Preoperative Cardiorespiratory Fitness Screening and Risk Stratification in Geriatric Surgery.”

The two year, $250,000 grant will support Dr. Boyer’s research into the use of wearable technology as a means to assess the functional capacity of older adults prior to surgery. Dr. Kane Pryor is the primary faculty mentor.

Typically evaluated using a Cardio Pulmonary Exercise Test (CPET), VO2max is the gold-standard measure of functional capacity and a strong predictor of how well a patient will do after surgery, especially in the geriatric community, Dr. Boyer explained. But CPET can be costly and present logistical barriers.

“What I’m trying to do is use the data in wearables, which provide a similar measure of how much exercise someone is capable of doing and how their heart is responding, to predict their functional capacity without needing to step onto a treadmill.“

In the second phase of the project, patients will be monitored for post-operative complications.

“We’re going to monitor how older adults do after major surgery and attempt to risk stratify patients based on their wearables data,” said Dr. Boyer.

Dr. Boyer is an instructor in anesthesiology and a Van Poznak Research Scholar in the Department of Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. A graduate in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, he attended the Medical Scientist Training Program at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he completed his PhD studies in biomedical engineering. He completed his residency in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also currently a postdoctoral associate at Cornell Tech where he is developing artificial intelligence software for perioperative risk stratification.

The NIA/FAER GEMSSTAR grant brings together Dr. Boyer’s passion for developing affordable medical technologies for vulnerable patient populations with his experience in anesthesiology.

“I am a health tech engineer developing tools for our most vulnerable patients,” he said. “That’s been my focus for the past 10 years. I’m hoping we can find a significant wearable measurement that we can use to inform perioperative care for older adults.”

About the Grant
The National Insitute on Aging (NIA) offers a Grant for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR). The goal of the two-year NIA GEMSSTAR is to provide support for early career physician-scientists to launch careers as future leaders in aging- or geriatric-focused research.

FAER GEMSSTAR Grants, awarded by the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, aim to supplement the two-year NIA scientific awards with support for simultaneous career development activities.

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