2011 BMEidea competition winners

2011 BMEidea winners announced!

First place, winning $10,000
Magneto: Magnetic Induction Internal Bleed Detector, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

After percutaneous coronary interventions and cardiac catheterizations in hospitals, there is a risk for complications at the point of vascular access. The current standard of care for monitoring for these complications is an observational approach; medical personnel examine patients several times per hour for signs of tachycardia, hypotension, swelling, visual bruising, pain and discomfort. But the complications are hard to detect, as symptoms only arise after significant blood loss has already occurred. This “wait-and-see” approach is unreliable and places not only a time burden on medical personnel but also a financial burden on the hospital due to extended patient hospital stays.

The Magneto internal bleeding monitor is a portable, non-invasive, autonomous, cost-effective device for detecting internal bleeding complications after catheterization procedures through the femoral artery. The device, which uses magnetic induction technology to detect the accumulation of blood near the access site, consists of three components: a coil pack that interfaces with the patient to send and receive signals, an adhesive system that attaches the coil pack to the patient, and a user pack that interprets the data and alerts the user of bleeding complications.

Second place, winning $2,500
Oculeve, Stanford University

More than 20 million Americans have some form of Dry Eye disease. 1.6 million of these people suffer from the most severe form, a debilitating condition that impacts quality of life as drastically as severe angina, and can threaten one's vision. These patients cannot read or watch television due to the dryness, and cannot go outside due to the sensitivity to light. Unfortunately, there are no good treatment options for this population. This population is desperate, currently relying on artificial tear drops, an ineffective and expensive immuno-suppressant drug called Restasis and a surgery in which their eyelids are literally sutured shut.

The Oculeve team is developing a device-based therapy that treats this terrible disease. The device is a simple in-office procedure that results in a substantial increase in tear production to near-normal levels, and will allow these patients to return to a normal life. The device is a one-time procedure and will therefore be a more cost effective treatment than the expensive drug therapy, and much less intrusive than a blinding surgery. The team has surveyed more than 250 patients with Dry Eye disease with overwhelming support of the new therapy, and is proceeding with commercialization to provide treatment to this desperate group of patients.

Third place, winning $1,000
Medtric Biotech, Purdue University

Infected wounds have an incalculable impact on patient quality of life.  Infection prevents proper healing and subjects the patient to potentially avoidable complications. Additionally, infection leads to skyrocketing health costs. Domestically, care for an infected wound is nearly $14,000 per case. In chronic wounds (in which 98% are estimated to be contaminated), total treatment costs can escalate beyond $40,000.

Standard therapies for bacterial remediation have several disadvantages. For example, antibiotics are plagued by the alarming increase in pathogenic drug resistance. The Center for Disease Control estimates the rate of drug resistant has climbed 36% in the last 20 years. This trend is coupled to the realization that no new classes of antibiotics have been developed since 1963. Alternative treatments such as antimicrobial silver are complicated by toxicity issues and pose long term hazards to the environment.

The Medtric Biotech team is developing OSMOSE, a line of antimicrobial dressings for the prevention and treatment of infected wounds. The OSMOSE platform represents a fundamentally new mechanism of bactericidal action. Our proprietary nanotechnology offers three distinct competitive advantages:  (i) wide spectrum antibacterial activity (even against antibiotic resistant strains), (ii) OSMOSE actively promotes wound healing and (iii) OSMOSE dressing provide economical solutions in a high priced field.


Honorable mentions:

Lipoluminator: A Light-Directed Instrument for Plastic Surgery, Rice University

IpsiHand: An EEG Brain Computer Interface for Rehabilitation and Restoration of Hand Control following Stroke, Washington University in St Louis

ToughKlave: A Modular and Portable Autoclave, Tulane University

The winners were announced on June 8 at the Medical Design Excellence Awards ceremony in New York. Congratulations!