This fall, NCIIA selected fourteen teams from twelve universities to participate in the E-Team Program. The program provides $5,000 of funding to attend a three-day VentureLab strategy mapping workshop where teams work on developing a sustainable business model. Teams selected represent biotech, clean tech and technology for low-resource settings.
Calcula Technologies(Stanford University) A novel, in-office treatment for the removal of kidney stones.
Integrated Punch Biopsy Kit (Johns Hopkins University) An all-in-one skin biopsy device that efficiently and safely transects and retrieves a skin sample.
IV DRIP: Dehydration Relief in Pediatrics (Rice University) A simple volume regulator for IV drips that helps prevent overhydration.
Kinvolved: Leveraging the Intersection of Technology and Policy to Improve Educational Outcomes (New York University) A web app for school systems that teachers use to collect, analyze, and communicate student attendance information to parents and families in real time.
Ligadon (University of Utah) A more effective solution for ligament and tendon recombination surgeries.
Loci Controls (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) An automated system to optimize the collection of landfill gas, then turn the captured methane into an energy source.
Nutrient Recovery & Upcycling (NRU), LLC (University of Wisconsin-Madison) A technology to recover high-grade phosphorous from wastewater for use in agriculture and industry.
OncoFilter: Bringing the Cancer Detection Kit Home(Ohio State University) An easy-to-use detection kit which identifies certain forms of cancer.
PharmaCheck (Boston University) A device to quickly and accurately screen medicines in the developing world to find out whether or not they're counterfeit.
QDSpec (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) A potentially revolutionary new spectrometer that can be made as small as an ant and as cheap as a few dollars.
RetiCue (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) A portable, eye-worn imaging device that quickly assesses the condition of a patient’s retina.
Rural Trade Communications (University of Colorado at Boulder) An off the grid communicationplatform, supported by subscription fees, that will allow direct communication between farmers, transportation providers and end users.
OceanComm (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) A wireless modem to enable better communication between unmanned, underwater mining machines and their human operators on the surface.
Vitalnx (Vanderbilt University) A monitor, located inside a trauma patient’s IV line, that provides early indicators of tissue shock, shortening the time to advanced resuscitation.
NCIIA's Nursing Home of the Future: a partnership with Johns Hopkins University
The aging of the Boomer generation has hardly gone un-noticed, with companies rushing to meet the needs of this segment of society. One area that remains a challenge is how to meet the healthcare needs of this demographic as they age, and how do nursing homes and assisted living adjust to the shifts in expectation and lifestyle presented by this group. In addition, delivering healthcare into the homes of the aging boomer population and developing products and services that allow the boomer generation to stay at home, longer, safely, and without shifting the burden of care unduly to family, present unique challenges and opportunities.
IdeaLab provides a transformational entrepreneurial experience to undergraduate and graduate students while creating solutions and capitalizing on opportunities to address far-reaching societal challenges.
Over five days, 50 selected students will immerse themselves in the entrepreneurial process and use it to develop solutions to problems confronting the challenge faced by providing elderly care to the boomer generation; they will engage in intense brainstorming around solutions; and produce commercialization plans for new products and services by the end of the week.
The program will use curated public domain information about the challenge this aging population presents in terms of prevision of healthcare along with the vast informational resource offered by Healthdata.gov. In addition the work undertaken by the Business Innovation Factory of Providence Rhode Island on Nursing Home of the Future, which can be found here, will also be incorporated.
Relevant industry partners will be sought and will serve as judges at the end of the week to award seed funding to the most promising ideas. The expectation is that a number of the student teams that will form during IdeaLab will work over the ensuing year to bring their ideas to the marketplace.
Innovation: a device that EMT personnel can use to administer a therapeutic hypothermia treatment to cardiac arrest victims, to greatly improve their chances of survival upon reaching hospital.
Accelerating university innovations: Funded by NCIIA in 2002, The MarrowMiner has revolutionized the harvesting of bone marrow and the stem cells bone marrow contains. Inventor Daniel Kraft described the MarrowMiner on TED.
The human spine is composed of vertically stacked vertebrae that form a protective canal for the spinal cord. Instability of the spine caused by vertebral fractures, deformities and other spinal disorders often requires surgical intervention, in which two metal screws are placed into parts of the vertebrae called pedicles and joined at adjacent vertebral levels with metal rods. However, patients with osteoporosis (and thus poor bone quality) are susceptible to screw pullout during the procedure. At the same time, osteoporotic patients stand to gain the most from the procedure.
Rather than reinvent the effective and well-established procedure of pedicle screw fixation, this E-Team is aiming to rebuild the strength of screw fixation in the pedicles by shifting the forces experienced by weak inner bone to strong outer bone. They call this method Corticoplasty™, and the device used in this approach will act as an intermediary between the bone-screw interface and provide a strong interference fit for existing screws in osteoporotic patients.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is an analytical tool for analyzing the molecular structure of a sample, including chemicals such as drugs, peptides, aromatic molecules, pesticides, food additives, and others. NMR experiments analyze complex samples such as blood and urine and help determine chemical information. NMR sets the standard for the analysis of new chemicals because it obtains different information from each atom in a sample with a nucleus-specific system. Though useful, slow speeds and high costs make NMR not commercially viable for some industries.
To remedy these problems, this E-Team from Purdue, comprised of three analytical chemistry Ph.D. candidates and a graduate researcher in the Technology Transfer Initiative, aimed to offer customers an improved NMR probe that significantly reduces the cost and time needed to perform NMR analysis. Instead of testing each sample serially, this team's technology tested them simultaneously. In addition, the technology required a smaller sample size.
The Center for Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that some patients experience decompensation during transport while on oxygen support. Decompensation is a life-threatening problem that occurs when a patient's oxygen supply tubing develops a kink or when oxygen depletes within the storage cylinders. No device exists to indicate the flow of oxygen through a patient's tube. In fact, the only current method of determining if a patient is experiencing decompensation is to see if their face turns blue.
In response to this need for an oxygen flow monitor, this E-Team developed the Spindicator, a device made up of a cylindrical tube, an inline impeller, and gas inlet/outlet. Oxygen flowing through the tube forces the impeller to spin. To make impeller monitoring easy, the team painted the impeller two distinct colors that a person can detect from a minimum of six feet away. If the device fails, the inline impeller design facilitates oxygen flow to the patient. The Spindicator attaches to the nasal attachment or face mask just below the patient's face.
At a preliminary survey at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, 72% of those surveyed expressed extreme support of the product. Across the US, about 1,500 hospitals need to provide oxygen to approximately sixty-six million patients. If the Spindicator sold for $5 to $10, hospitals would pay only $250,000 to $440,000 each year for the product.
The team originated from a NCIIA-funded class, Product Realization. Three undergraduate students, with skills in mechanical and industrial engineering, worked on the team. They worked with four engineering school advisors and two medical/industry advisors. One of these advisors is a doctor from UPMC Presbyterian and headed the clinical trial for Spindicator.
According to the American Hospital Association, there are 6,400 hospitals in the US, and most of them own endoscopic equipment. Endoscopes and laparoscopes are narrow, tube-shaped optical devices that allow surgeons to see inside a patient's body without making incisions. The devices minimize trauma in surgery and therefore shorten patient recovery time. However, scope performance depends on the image quality they deliver, and many factors contribute to image quality deterioration, including collision with alien objects, poor maintenance, and the heat and chemicals used in cleaning and sterilization procedures. Currently, hospitals have no tool to ensure scope performance by evaluating and monitoring image quality.
To fill this need, this E-Team developed an image quality analyzer that facilitates efficient and automatic evaluation of the image quality of scopes. With the analyzer, hospitals can ensure the quality of endoscopic surgery and track the performance of scopes over time. Performance data shows optimal maintenance procedures and when replacement is necessary.
The E-Team consisted of two graduate students in engineering. They worked with an industrial engineering faculty member and the director of minimal invasive surgery at the Magee-Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Roughly 1.4 million lower extremity fractures, including 950,000 to the ankle, occur annually in the US. The majority of these musculoskeletal injuries require some type of physical therapy. Because the total cost involved in diagnosis, surgery, or rehabilitation of such injuries amounts to billions of dollars, this E-Team from John Hopkins University developed a low-cost foot sensor that aids patients in recovery.
Research shows that patients recover faster with limited weight-bearing programs, but gauging how much pressure to apply to the injury before doing harm is difficult. The team's foot sensor measured the pressure and alerted patients if they put too much pressure on their injury. Patients could adjust the pressure threshold according to the nature of the injury, the severity, and progress in rehabilitation.
The E-Team consisted of ten undergraduate students enrolled in a year-long biomedical engineering course sequence with skills in computer programming and computer, biomedical, and electrical engineering. The students worked under the umbrella of Homewood Biomedical Design Associates, a university-based corporation. An engineering professor worked with the team, along with an engineering lecturer, the clinical director of Physiotherapy Associates, and the president and founder of Venture Quest, Inc., a management firm.
This E-Team designed an instrument that eases the insertion of implants when using the transaxillary breast augmentation procedure. The device works by holding the implant in an upright position. The first prototype was made out of stainless steel. Eventually, the team planned to test that prototype in surgery and, depending on the results, take it to mass production.
This grant supported the development of a prototype for a small, portable, battery-powered cooler for transporting heat- and cold-sensitive materials such as insulin for periods greater than forty-eight hours. The device was designed to be cost competitive with existing coolers using cooler packs, and offer greater temperature control, longer storage, and additional features, such as a syringe and blood sugar measuring equipment compartment. The market projected to be 50-100k units based on diabetic usage in the US. The E-Team was composed of five biomedical engineering students and faculty advisors from the department. The team worked with two companies that manufacture the key components of the device, a thermoelectric cooling system and moldable paraffin insulation.
This grant supported the prototyping, further development, and commercialization planning of a gamma imaging system to assess the risk of coronary artery disease. The system, based on new gamma imaging sensor technology, is intended to compete with existing technologies such as stress testing, EKG and ECT imaging by providing a lower-cost, higher-resolution test.
Update: The team has incorporated as NeoMed Technologies, secured two patents and received over $700k in funding.