University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2010 - $20,000
This E-Team is developing IntelliWheels, an after-market addition to off-the-shelf wheelchairs that significantly decreases the effort it takes to propel manual wheelchairs. IntelliWheels uses a gear shifting system to make pushing a wheelchair easier: the user moves forward, backward, and turns by pushing on the hand rims on either side like normal, but two automatic transmissions continuously change gears to keep the user operating in the most efficient way possible. This happens automatically, without the user thinking about it or needing to do anything.
The team built one prototype already, but it did not perform well. The team is now looking to build on what was learned from the first prototype and continue the development of IntelliWheels into a viable product and business focused on the US market.
Cardiac pacemakers save lives by restoring and maintaining a normal, safe heart rate for patients with heart rhythm disorders such as bradycardia (a pathologically slow heart rate). But despite their effectiveness, most patients with bradycardia do not need a permanent implanted device because their problem is temporary and reversible: the heart rhythm disruption stems from a procedure or as a side effect of medication. The options for short-term, temporary pacing to overcome bradycardia are, however, flawed: intravenous medications work only for a subset of patients and have limiting side effects; external pacing pads placed on the chest are ineffective and prohibitively painful to the patient. The placement of a temporary pacing electrode through a large vein directly into the heart is the most effective method, but, unfortunately, it is also known to cause potentially fatal complications, including perforation of the heart wall (1-2%) and dislodgement (10-30%).
To meet the need for a safer method of temporarily supporting patients who have or are at risk for bradycardia, this E-Team is developing a temporary pacing system that eliminates the majority of adverse events due either to perforation or dislodgement.
Over three million US children per year are put under sedation in dental offices. While sedation keeps children calm and still during procedures ranging from cleanings to tooth extractions, it also has potentially fatal consequences. Thirty-three percent of adverse events related to pediatric sedation occur in the dental setting, with 91% of the adverse events resulting in death or permanent neurological injury. Further, 80% of the adverse events involved respiratory problems, since sedatives blunt respiratory drive and relax the upper airway musculature.
This E-Team is developing a device that monitors a child’s breathing while he or she is under the influence of sedatives. The small, wearable, disposable device, called PhonoSafe, alerts the dentist of sub-optimal breathing that lasts longer than fifteen seconds. It consists of a microphone placed on the throat at the level of the trachea to detect breathing sounds, hardware for signal processing to isolate the sounds from ambient noise, and software to analyze the respiratory rate and detect apnea (lack of breathing).
Paul Hudnut, an Entrepreneurship instructor at Colorado State University’s College of Business, won the 2010 Olympus Innovation Award for his creation and development of the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program (GSSE), a speciaized three-semester graduate business program that trains students to become global social entrepreneurs. In teaching, Hudnut uses his start-up experience to help inform and inspire budding entrepreneurs about starting new ventures, and their power to change the world. One such venture is Envirofit, which sells products in India and the Philippines that increase incomes and reduce pollution. Hudnut’s leadership in starting the GSSE program at CSU, as well as sharing his ideas about innovation and entrepreneurship at other universities, has been widely recognized and appreciated by faculty and students. The Olympus Innovation Award recognizes a faculty member who fosters an environment of innovative thinking among students through inventive teaching methods, projects and case studies.
Jerry Engel, adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, was granted the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award for his leadership in establishing The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, of which he is the faculty director and founder. One of the first entrepreneurship programs at any U.S. business school, the Lester Center has taught and inspired hundreds of Haas student entrepreneurs over nearly 20 years. Through emphasizing technology entrepreneurship and experiential learning, Engel’s creation and development of the Global Entrepreneurship Education Initiative, which has trained more than 800 international engineering, science and business faculty through more than 45 seminars in 22 countries, has had an impact on students and faculty all over the world. Additionally, Engel utilized his experience abroad to help launch and improve entrepreneurship programs at numerous universities around the world. The Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained contribution throughout their careers to stimulating and inspiring innovative thinking in students in their own universities and throughout academia.
Dr. Jeffrey Blander, course co-director HST939, Division of Health Science and Technology, Harvard Medical School and MIT, captured the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award. This award recognizes an individual who has greatly inspired innovative thinking in students and whom the judges believe has significant potential to make important future contributions to the field. Dr. Blander is recognized for his course, Designing Technology Innovation for Global Health Practice. The course works closely with field-based partners in developing countries and the U.S., nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and industry sponsors which enable teams of students to work on projects that prioritize grassroots solutions to address "real world" problems. The first two years of enrollment included more than 80 students from across MIT and Harvard, with 20 projects in eight developing country settings. Dr. Blander’s professional passion extends far beyond the classroom in his role as director of the Bienmoyo foundation. In this role Dr. Blander has expanded training and cultural exchange programs for students and professionals to implement solutions that improve the quality of life of patients and create new sustainable business models in health care in Tanzania.
We will begin accepting nominations for the 2011 Olympus Innovation Awards on September 7, 2010. Stay tuned!
Our program is designed to give faculty and students access to the latest knowledge and best teaching practices in the field of technology innovation. The program includes more than 70 presentations and panels, a new series of high impact workshops sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the annual Olympus Innovation Awards (nominate a faculty member now!), and the Venture Well Forum.
We're accepting registrations now for the conference and applications for March Madness for the Mind. Register now to take advantage of early rates. Join us in San Francisco in 2010!
Since 2004, NCIIA has spurred innovation in biomedical engineering by organizing (with our sponsors) the BMEidea competition for university student teams.
This fall, NCIIA will launch a new BME competition for undergraduate student teams. BMEStart recognizes undergraduate excellence in biomedical innovation. Student teams will be invited to demonstrate innovations that address a medical clinical need with a clearly defined solution that can be taken to application. $10,000 is at stake for the winning team!
Applications will be accepted from November 1, 2009. Check back for updates!
More than 300 faculty and students attended Open 2010, the NCIIA's 14th Annual Conference, in San Francisco from March 25-27.
Among the comments from attendees:
As usual, every year this conference impresses me with its organization and the level of knowledge disseminated.
This was probably the most informative meeting I've ever attended with respect to discovering what other institutions are doing similar work!
This was my first time at NCIIA and it was FANTASTIC! I am definitely coming back. So many of the talks I went to covered tangible things (tools, contacts, exercise, frameworks) that I can use in my class on commercializing new technologies. It was truly a valuable use of my time to come to the conference!