You are here

Health and Tech Day Program Info


Health and Tech Day Presentations


The Business of Virtual Care featuring Dr. Michelle Alencar, Walter Larkins, Alan Winters, & Kai Chhuon Kucharski


Speed Informational Interviewing with expertise from Dr. Michelle Alencar, Michelle Excell, Dr. Brenda Freshman, Dr. Elisa Hernandez, Talha Karwa, Kai Chhuon Kucharski, Walter Larkins, Kevin Mack, Neilda Pacquing, Alan Winters, & Steven Xu


Keynote: Making Healthcare More Human Through Extended Reality (XR) by Michelle Excell


Designing Health and Tech for Social Impact: A Conversation with Heather Barker and Neilda Pacquing


Mindfulness and Technology featuring Dr. Aaron Cargile, Dr. Brenda Freshman, & Kevin Mack


  • Meditation led by Dr. Aaron Cargile
  • Yoga led by Dr. Birgit Penzenstadler
  • Sound Bath led by Jared Sanchez


Emerging Health and Tech Entrepreneurs featuring Nikki Escobar, Dr. Elisa Hernandez, & John Hunter

Health and Tech Day Demos


Aging Simulation suits allow the user to experience conditions associated with diseases that may occur with older age.


Kevin Mack's Anandala is a vast virtual reality art world of evolving abstract shapes and colors that you explore through personal flight, like flying in a dream or vision. Anandala is inhabited by living art entities, called Blorts, who interact with visitors and each other and creatively express themselves with complex movements, changing color patterns and a unique musical language. Anandala exploits a variety of perceptual mechanisms to engage the imagination, inspire awe, and enhance well being. And it's fun!

ASPS (Active Shooter Preparation Simulator)

In the current climate, we no longer say if an active threat occurs, but when. In a module-based curriculum, users will learn about active threats, tools used during active threats, situational awareness and breaking out of freeze-mode, what and how to communicate when they can, and how to interact with law enforcement. Content in the modules include videos, assessments, and activities that promote behavior change. Our aim is to not just provide information and test their knowledge, but allow users to observe and practice how to react through gamified activities.


Augmented Reality is a revolutionary technology that uses the camera on a smart phone to superimpose digital graphics on top of the real world--that become almost indistinguishable from reality. Years ago, Augmented Reality, or AR, was just seen as another form of advertising, but now is revolutionizing health and wellness. Surgeons can look through holographic displays to see real-time renderings of the veins/organs they are working on. Children facing terminal illness can see 3D Creatures that offer them emotional support. Students can learn about the human body in new immersive ways, and this is just the beginning. Local company ARLB will be displaying some of the new ways that AR is changing the Health sector.


Beach Balance is the Wellness Center of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. We focus on a holistic approach towards health and wellness. We provide various self-assessment tools to promote a kick-start to your wellness! The four tools featured during Health and Tech Day are as follows. 1) The BMI/Body Fat Percentage Monitor device calculates your BMI with the inputted information and the Body Fat Percentage by running a weak circuit through the palms of your hands. 2) Blood Pressure Monitor: The Omron BP710N is a simple to use upper arm Blood Pressure Monitor. It will store up to 14 readings in its memory for a single user, allowing you to track patterns of the heart. The Omron also uses a wide range cuff that will fit arms of 9 to 17 inches. 3) Resperate is a portable electronic device that promotes slow, deep breathing. Resperate is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. 4) Pulse Oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a medical device that indirectly monitors the oxygen saturation of your blood and changes in blood volume in the skin. This helps measure pulse rate, oxygen delivery, and saturation (SpO2) to the peripheral tissues and blood.


The Vitro-D is a handheld medical device used for saliva screening of Type II Diabetes. This device consists of a chemical reaction using saliva and a biosensor capable of detecting a biomarker placed within the reaction. Given a saliva sample, the device will analyze the amount of the biomarker and determine if a person is screened positive for Diabetes.


The Body VR is revolutionizing healthcare through virtual reality. As an award-winning healthcare VR company with established proprietary technology, we allow students and professionals to interact with the human body in real-world healthcare scenarios. We focus on embedding this constantly evolving technology into virtual reality solutions to help propel healthcare to the next level.


EmpowHER VR is a Self-Defense Training experience that brings empowering self-defense tools to promote confidence, safety, and empowerment by utilizing the immersive capabilities of 6DOF virtual reality. The target users are women who want to receive holistic self-defense training. In a four module structure, users will learn about the 4 parts of self-defense training: 1) personal boundaries, 2) situational awareness, 3) verbal self-defense, and 4) physical self-defense.


See what a sleep actigraphy accelerometer feels like and the kind of information that is measured from these devices. Get your height and weight measured and learn about your body composition.


Medical Realities is an award-winning Virtual Reality education platform for medical students, surgical trainees, surgeons, and health care professionals. Our mission is to revolutionize surgical training across the globe.


Sound healing is the practice of using audio tones and vibrational frequencies to repair damaged tissue and cells within the body. It works on the basis that all matter is vibrating at specific frequencies, and sickness, disease, depression and stress causes human beings to vibrate at a lower frequency. Playing tones that promote healing, happiness and vitality will allow DNA strands to repair themselves, and several scientific studies have been conducted on the potential healing benefits of audio sound centuries, and is still regularly utilized by many different alternative healthcare centers. Tibetan singing bowels, tuning forks, drumming therapy, and even chanting are all used in sound therapy and many participants experience strong emotions during therapy sessions. Advocates of sound healing claim that it has the power to heal mental illness, arthritis, autoimmune disorders and can even shrink cancer tumors. Learn about the different forms of sound healing and examine the evidence that supports its use as an alternative medical practice.


In this experience players can learn about avoiding cardiovascular health hazards and plaque build up in the arteries as well as healthy cardiovascular practices. The player pilots a micro-craft through a complex system of arteries as they learn about plaque build-up, artery disease and blood clots and ways to avoid them.


Virtual Reality (VR) systems are finding uses in multiples applications such as gaming, art, sport and rehabilitation. In this demo, the BeachCAVE immersive VR system is setup to create a virtual physical therapy clinic with an interactive balance test apparatus.


Dignitas (VISYON) As part of our Social Innovation Programme, we collaborated with Framestore and Avril Furness in the production of a VR film of the moments of the choice of a patient that has undertaken the path of euthanasia, representing the two possible outcomes on whether he decides or not to proceed. The movie was presented at Bristol Museum at the exhibition “Death: is it your right to choose?”, to sensibilize the public about euthanasia and right to choose.


Saned-Opdivo (VISYON)

VR CGI explanation of the effects of Opdivo in the human body through 360 Video and CGI Animation. OPDIVO is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with the immune system. We also inserted graphic informative overlays for deeper understanding of the medicine, as the purpose of this tool was to improve training & commercial sales for the Pharma company.


Telepport / VisitU (VISYON)

Telepport was first launched to cover the needs of VisitU, an innovation services company for Healthcare in Holland. The need was to connect long-stay patients in hospitals with their homes and families, in a new and innovative way. We created the first 360 degree live-streaming platform with bidirectional audio and VOIP protocol through VR glasses, for the VisitU medical VR program and Maxima Medical Center in Eindhoven, Holland. Two years after the pilot project, the platform is still being used by hospitals in Holland to connect patients with their homes, or to transport them to other locations like museums and galleries or open spaces, and help them escape their present situation for a little while.  It is currently implemented on Oncology, Maternity areas, as well as long-stay patients, mainly for the elderly and kids.

In 2018, it was recognised as one of the VR technologies changing the healthcare services by Medical Futurist. For a case study see


VisitU: Infor/Med (VISYON)

Infor-Med informs patients and care workers through virtual reality about hospital treatments with the purpose of reducing anxiety and improving their wellbeing. Providing patients with information about their upcoming treatments helps reduce their anxiety and allows them to take control of their treatment prep and options. This increases the efficiency and safety of the treatment and in the general well-being and satisfaction of the patient and their families. Emotional stress is alleviated and time in the hospital can be actually be reduced. Accessible and affordable Virtual Reality for all patients is our vision for the future. Optimal cooperation between patients, care institutions, technicians and the business community is necessary for this.


Walk Through Dementia (VISYON)

We joined forces with Alzheimer’s Research UK and Google, to create a tool that helped families and carers better understand how a person suffering from early-onset dementia or Alzheimer's feels. Through VR, 360 films and CGI we built A Walk Through Dementia. The project got huge press coverage, acquired famous ambassadors, and donations increased five-fold during the initial campaign period. It was used as a resource for awareness, education, and even training of caregivers and family members of recently diagnosed patients.


Window to Our World (VISYON)

“A Window to our World” is a deeply moving and award-winning VR film targeting future foster and adoptive parents and helping them find the courage to take that important next step. Produced for Cornerstone Partnership UK and directed by Ben Perry. 5 days, 3 different locations, 14 actors and 50 extras, worked together to build this exceptional piece with Visyon’s in-house production team. It was shot in 2D and 360 simultaneously and launched at an event in VR and 360 dome, as well as released online and for recruitment. For more about the project visit:

Health and Tech Day Participants

*Denotes an expert participant who will participate in the speed informational interviewing session.


Brian Amburgey is a local entrepreneur specializing in Augmented Reality apps and experiences. Bryan has focused on using this futuristic technology to host virtual art shows, bring history to life, and overlay relevant information on top of the real world. He works locally in the solar industry and has 4 apps available for download.


Michelle Alencar, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Fitness at California State University, Long Beach and also serves as the Chief Science Officer for inHealth Medical Services, Inc. She is a certified clinical nutritionist and exercise physiologist with a passion for mobile health and its capability to provide nutrition, fitness and behavior modification strategies for health and wellness. She was recognized in April 2018 by the Obesity Medicine Association for her innovative research at its annual meeting.


Heather Barker is the Director of ROAM.STUDIO, an interactive design research space developing solutions across a range of scales – from urban to haptic. Engaging in a human-centered approach to design, the studio develops novel solutions integrating the psychology of experience and the performative factors of interface and space. In Heather Barker’s scholarly work, a synthesis of philosophy of mind with philosophy of science reveals synergistic conditions in our hybrid virtual-physical condition. This work develops synthesized design methodologies applicable to personal interface, space and sustainable architectural and urban conditions while supporting pedagogy built upon a rigorous theoretical premise combined with the intelligence of making. Heather Barker practices and teaches in both Los Angeles and in Munich, Germany.


Aaron Castelán Cargile (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is a Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Long Beach. His research examines the roles of attitudes, ideology, and affect in intercultural interactions, with a particular interest in the impact of prosocial interventions. His recent work has been published in International Journal of Intercultural Relations, International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Race and Social Problems, and The Educational Forum. In addition, he is a meditator, Buddhist, and student of Sogan Rinpoche (Tulku Pema Lodoe).


Nikki Escobar is a passionate designer, leader, and entrepreneur. She is the Chief Design Officer of her own startup company, Artemus Labs. She designed a prosthetic liner for users with amputations to empower them to feel sexy and challenge a social stigma surrounding disability. She won an award at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian in New York and her team took first place in the 2018 CSULB Innovation Challenge. She is currently working with a team of investors and advisers to bring the product to the market. She also won first place in a sponsored design competition from the biotech company Medtronic. She targeted diabetes, a huge epidemic in Filipino culture and designed a solution that integrated core Filipino values.

*Keynote Speaker, MICHELLE EXCELL

Michelle Excell is the lead consultant and founder of the Antipodean Collective, a hybrid consultancy and production company. On the consulting side, Michelle and specialist partners advise brands and agencies on how to navigate new technology landscapes and build strong “innovation roadmaps.” On the production side, The Antipodean brings together a collective of the world’s leading innovation and experiential production partners specializing in AR, VR, IOT and creative services. VISYON is an award-winning production company whose mission is empowering innovation through emerging technologies and creative solutions, such as VR, AR, Holograms and AI. They believe that through the effective use of emerging technologies, we can enhance our physical existence and bring positive change to society through innovation in healthcare, education and the environment. The Antipodean has represented VISYON in the US since 2016.


Brenda Freshman, Peace Entrepreneur, is Founder and President of Orbis Unim, LLC, a transmedia production company that facilitates inner and outer peace in ways that can be measured.  Drawing from disciplines in science, music, and art, Dr. Freshman develops technology applications and training programs that inspire journeys of personal peace and global harmony.

Brenda Freshman's research and practice interests concentrate on managerial mindfulness, emotional intelligence, collaboration across disciplines, and how thoughts and emotions influence behavior, productivity, and quality of life. Brenda is a Professor in the Health Care Administration Department at CSULB, where she has been a full-time faculty member since 2007. Brenda earned her B.S. in Psychology from UCLA, M.A. in Applied Psychology from University of Santa Monica, M.S. in Organizational Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology.


Bradley Greer is a lifelong enthusiasm for health and fitness led him to embrace DōTERRA essential oils and nutritional products to support his physical and emotional health. He partners with DōTERRA International to educate families on the history and use of essential oils. He teaches classes in Chinese, Spanish, and English. He has one of the largest DōTERRA distribution networks in China that has given him great insight into essential oils as a suitable alternative health care resource. He is a certified DōTERRA Aromatouch Technique massage practitioner and China 康复理疗师。Prior to educating families on essential oils, Brad was in the Wealth Management business as a practicing Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant for 24 years with Wells Fargo Bank and later with his own financial planning software and training company in China. Brad is the developer of the free app “Health and Wealth” available at


Elisa Hernandez attended Stanford University as a first-generation college student. She graduated with a BA in Psychology and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Psychology from Catholic University of America and a Doctorate in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Hernandez is a licensed psychologist and has worked as a staff psychologist in Counseling and Psychological Services at the Claremont Colleges and at Cal-State University, Long Beach. She is currently the host of First Gen Journey, a podcast for and about first-generation college students and professionals. She also serves as a consultant, advising and presenting on mental health/wellness and issues related to first generation college students and professionals.


John Hunter is a doctoral student of Psychological Science at UC Irvine who examines how digital technology (i.e. smartphones) can be leveraged to maximize well-being. He investigates how our interaction with these devices influences the dynamics of social relationships and has downstream effects on mental and physical health. John also explores how apps should be developed and tested to reduce stress, manage pain, and boost happiness. He is an expert in the emerging field of Psychology of Technology and strives to provide a foundation of knowledge about the positive potential of mobile digital devices.


Talha Karwa is a fourth-year electrical and biomedical engineering student at California State University, Long Beach. His research interests are in finding new medical diagnostic techniques and signal processing. Talha is currently the lead undergraduate researcher under Dr. Sergio Mendez with the goal of developing a noninvasive medical device to screen for Type II Diabetes. Based on this research, Talha and his team are creating a startup called Beach Biotech and entering in this year’s Innovation Challenge. Outside of his studies, Talha enjoys hiking and modifying his personal car.


Keovmorkodh "Kai" Kucharski is an ASHA certified Speech Language Pathologist who received her Masters of Science from Columbia University. While in New York City, Kai served as a Research Assistant at Columbia University’s Bio-behavioral Voice and Neuro-Cognition Lab.  Kai’s clinical expertise include working at Mount Sinai Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Long Beach Community Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, and Tele-health. She has spent the past five years building her tele-practice to help clients find their voice.


Walter Larkins is a successful serial entrepreneur and inventor with over 25 years of business development experience in creating, managing and motivating entrepreneurial companies, sales professionals and teams, significantly increasing the value of the projects in which he has been involved. He holds several issued and pending international and US patents. He is currently CEO of startup venture Sapphire RCMS, LLC offering SaaS solutions to healthcare providers enabling them to succeed in their negotiations with and in the recovery of receivables owed them by insurance companies. Other roles include, President of CDR Benefits, LLC that provides 'Health & Life Solutions' to Individuals, Employers and their Employees; President and CEO of Endosurgical Development Corp. (EDC) that invented a system for minimally invasive heart surgery that was ultimately acquired by a Johnson & Johnson company; President of Envision Associates, a successful consulting firm that assisted entrepreneurs, start-ups and midsize companies develop their business plans and strategies. Walter served four years in the US Army, achieving the rank of Captain and attended Boston University's European Division MBA program, the US Military Academy at West Point and is a graduate of UCLA, where he was a ROTC scholarship winner. He is also currently Executive Director of the E=O2 Foundation, a 501(c3).


Kevin Mack is a pioneer of virtual art, computer graphics, and visual effects. He received the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for his work on What Dreams May Come (1998). 
Mack's work is inspired by transcendent visions, natural phenomena, and technology and is informed by research in a wide range of fields from neuroscience to artificial life. His virtual reality art experiences are engineered to inspire awe, engage the imagination, and enhance well being, and are being studied and used in therapeutic and medical applications.


Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Science at CSULB. She primarily teaches advanced statistics for graduate students. Her research focuses on obesity prevention among minority children to achieve health equity for underserved populations, specifically studying psychosocial influences on obesity-related health behaviors (diet, activity levels and sleep). Using state-of-the-art technology to objectively assess behaviors and adiposity outcomes is vital to applying valid and reliable methods to complete sound research. Her favorite part of her job is mentoring students and engaging them in hands-on experiences that allow them to apply their course-learning and develop as health professionals.


Neilda Pacquing is on a mission to solve the big problems using technology. She is the Founder and CEO of MindGlow, Inc., a company that focuses on safety training using immersive technologies—starting with active shooter preparation for the workplace. Before starting her company, Neilda worked as Sr. UX/UI Designer for Sephora and VP at Bank of America. There, she worked with the product, UX, and innovation teams to design digital products for millions of people. She served as Designer-In-Residence at General Assembly and helped students learn the tools needed to succeed in a career as a UX designer. She is a Philippine-born, San Francisco Bay Area native, and received her degree from UCLA. Neilda is also a NationSwell Council member.


Birgit Penzenstadler started with yoga when she was 8 or 9 years old after finding a book about kids yoga in the library of the little village in Bavaria she grew up in. She thought it was super cool and fun to be a lion, snake or scorpion. Her first ever yoga class was with Ines Oberscheid at the Yoga Centrum Erding. After practicing yoga on and off for the next fifteen years, she dove into a more dedicated practice in 2006 with the Jivamukti Yoga schools in Munich under Shannon Garon and David Life, Patrick Boome, Gabriela Boczik, Petros Haffenrichter, Anje Schafer and Michi Kern. Her research work dedicated to environmental sustainability brought her to Irvine, California in 2013, where she continued at Shakti Yoga with Katelyn Schumacher, Brynn Rybacek, Ashlee Goite, and Louise With-Seidelin. When she moved to Long Beach, she stumbled across Yoga on the Bluff, happily started going to Yogalution Movement, and took the 200h Teacher Training with Dharma Shakti. She is excited about giving and taking classes, and learning from teachers around the world wherever her wanderlust takes her, and is grateful for being able to give back by passing on her knowledge and serving her community. In her classes, she intends to instill sweaty bliss and to find the right level for every student to immerse in their practice.


Bio coming soon.


Michael Tigar Producer, Game Developer & Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor, a 32-year VFX industry veteran, is President and Founder of Meshugina Enterprises, where he oversees all aspects of production including: budget, story, design, and software development.  Prior to starting Meshugina Enterprises in 2014, Mr. Tigar was the President and Founder of Tigar Hare Studios for 18 successful years, where he also served as Executive Producer / Producer, Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor and Sr. Manager / Software Engineer on a multitude of projects for Film, T.V. and Games.  Previous to Tigar Hare Studios, Michael provided technical and project management protocols for Sony Pictures Imageworks and Rhythm & Hues Studios (that are still in use today).  At these studios, he co-developed the industry’s most notable production pipelines.  He was Computer Graphics Supervisor on The Cable Guy and contributed to the effects of such other features as Contact, Batman Forever, The Ghost and the Darkness and Waterworld.  Special venue and theme park credits include EFX for the MGM Grand Hotel,  Le Visionarium for EuroDisney and Seafari for MCA/Universal.


Michelle Trumbo is a career counselor at the Career Development Center (CDC) at California State University, Long Beach and serves as the CDC’s liaison to the College of Health and Human Services. She also teaches an online internship course within the CDC that enables students of all majors to receive academic credit for completing internship experiences.


With a unique blend of creative and business skills in both the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors, Alan Winters has a lengthy track record of successfully launching new products, building innovative content-related businesses, working with talent, and establishing strategic/advertiser partnerships. Alan is currently Chief Operations Officer/Co-Founder of the digital health and wellness platform, Vigoroom. Vigoroom combines the largest programmatic wellness content library with robust tracking and engagement tools to lose weight, sleep better, reduce stress, improve finances, and strengthen mental/emotional health. Vigoroom's philosophy is to address the underlying causes of health issues, not just the symptoms. It is offered as an employee wellness solution for small and mid-sized employers, as well as a platform for health coaches. In addition to Vigoroom, Alan is a Co-Founder of the StayGo science-based relationship app ( And he previously held senior positions in the entertainment industry at studios and major broadcasters. Alan holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BA from Cornell University.


Steven Xu is the Market Development Manager at HTC Vive. He is dedicated to empowering individuals to organically drive VR adoption through community engagement and positive VR experiences. Previously, he was at Oracle and IMAX offering software solutions and VR experiences.

VR and Your Health

Safe Use of VR

Consult with a healthcare professional before using VR headsets if a pre-existing serious medical condition (such as a heart ailment) is present or under conditions that affect one’s ability to safely perform physical activities. If one has psychiatric conditions (such as anxiety disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder), or if one is pregnant or elderly consult a health care professional before using VR. Do not use a VR headset if one is sick, fatigued, under the influence of intoxicants/drugs, or is not feeling generally well, as it may exacerbate your condition.

Photosensitive Seizures

Like other products that produce visual effects (including light flashes), VR experiences may trigger epileptic seizures, seizures, fainting, or severe dizziness even in people who have no history of these conditions. If you have a previous history of epilepsy or seizures, loss of awareness, or other symptoms linked to an epileptic condition, consult your doctor before using a VR headset.

Physical and Psychological Effects

Content viewed using a VR headset can be intense, immersive, and appear very life-like and may cause your brain and body to react accordingly. Certain types of content (e.g. violent, scary, emotional, or adrenaline-based content) could trigger increased heart rate, spikes in blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiety, PTSD, fainting, and other adverse effects. If you have a history of negative physical or psychological reactions to certain real life circumstances, avoid using a VR headset to view similar content.

Radio Frequency Interference

VR headsets can emit radio waves that can interfere with the operation of nearby electronic devices. If one has a cardiac pacemaker or other implanted medical device, do not use a VR headset until you have consulted with your doctor or the manufacturer of your medical device.

Stop Using If You Experience Any Discomfort

Stop using VR headset and consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

• Seizures, loss of awareness, convulsions, involuntary movements, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, lightheadedness, drowsiness, or fatigue;

• Eye pain or discomfort, eye strain, eye twitching, or vision abnormalities

• Excessive sweating, increased salivation, impaired sense of balance, impaired hand-eye coordination, or other symptoms similar to motion sickness.

Use by Children

VR headsets were not designed to be used by children. Recommended ages for the VR equipment is 13 and older.

Hold Harmless

The participants and customer holds harmless: CSULB and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB.