2019 debut challenge winners

2019 debut first place winner: The Steven H. Krosnick Prize: $20,000

InTouch: An Intubation Guidance System
Columbia University in the City of New York

Intubation is a time-sensitive airway rescue technique. It requires accurate placement of a laryngoscope blade to facilitate insertion of an endotracheal tube into the trachea, which allows for restoration of breathing. Intubations are commonly performed outside of the controlled environment of the operating theater by novice intubists, such as paramedics and residents. However, these out-of-theater intubations fail on first attempt nearly half the time due to incorrect placement of the laryngoscope blade. Failure to intubate can lead to hypoxia, hypotension, and even death. InTouch developed a “smart” laryngoscope blade for the novice intubist that helps them achieve accurate tube placement without expertise. The InTouch blade is equipped with data to identify incorrect blade placement as well as verify correct placement. Feedback is given to the novice intubist in real time via LED lights, allowing the novice intubist to adjust blade placement quickly, potentially preventing numerous procedural complications in out-of-theater settings.

Team Members:
Amy Wu
Miriam Saffern
Xiaomeng Xian
Sam Castro
Mary Gana
Faculty Advisor: Aaron Kyle

2019 debut second place winner $15,000

Device to Rapidly Screen for C. Difficile
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

C. difficile infection (CDI) is an antibiotic-resistant, intestinal bacterial infection that causes mild to life-threatening diarrhea. When hospital patients are suspected of CDI, they are flagged for contact precautions and quarantined until testing proves they are infection-free. Current diagnostic tests for CDI usually take an hour to complete, and 90% of patients screened annually will not have the disease. The length of diagnostic tests, combined with the volume of over-testing, has a negative impact on hospital efficiency and quality of care. Reducing CDI diagnostic test time can improve throughput and quality of care for both CDI-suspected and other patients in hospitals and clinics around the world. The team developed an inexpensive, portable screening device that can quickly and accurately rule out CDI without the need of a laboratory or patient-provided stool samples.

Team Members:
Danae Argyropoulou
Pranav Dorbala
Allison Wong
Madhumita Baskaran
Faculty Advisor: James Rains

2019 debut third place winner: $10,000

Humidifying and Speech Enabling Tracheostomy Attachment
Carnegie Mellon University

Tracheostomies are surgical procedures performed on patients who experience difficulty breathing. Although tracheostomies allow patients to breathe on their own, they suffer from an excess of mucus buildup in the throat. The team developed a device that allow patients to speak and reduce their mucus buildup. The innovation uses a filter to capture humidity and a plug, which blocks exhalation and controls patients’ ability to speak. It has additional features of reusability, coughing-mucus control, and air resistance tunability that make it both economical and multifunctional for patients.

Team Members:
Gayatri Paranjape
Gaurav Balakrishnan
Tala Habbab
Allison Caron
Rachel Kim
Tahj Spigner
Faculty Advisor: Conrad Zapanta

2019 HIV/Aids Prize $15,000

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

Scalpel injuries are the second most common injury in the operating room, and put healthcare workers at risk for connective tissue damage and bloodborne illnesses such as HIV. Injury can occur when the scalpel blade is fully exposed: during attachment, use, handoff, blade removal, and disposal. ScalPal developed new packaging for scalpel blades that is both functional and protective, eliminating injuries and reducing exposure to bloodborne diseases at every stage of use.

Team Members:
Rachel Mann
Bailey Klee
Nick Quan
Faculty Advisor: Martin Jacobson

2019 Venture Prize – $15,000

The Cath Path
Stanford University

Over 250,000 women in the U.S. suffer from neurogenic bladder (NB), or bladder dysfunction caused by neurological damage. NB can leave patients unable to voluntarily void their bladder, leading to overflow urinary incontinence. The standard of care for overflow urinary incontinence is clean intermittent catheterization (CIC), where a patient inserts a single-use catheter up the urethra to void their bladder, ideally four to six times a day. However, CIC for females is difficult to perform, in part due to the challenge of locating the urethra, and results in an average of 2.5 UTIs per patient per year—five times higher than the rate of UTIs in women free of chronic disease. The team developed The Cath Path, an assistive device to facilitate accurate and sanitary CIC for women, allowing patients to easily find their urethra and eliminating bacterial contamination.

Team Members:
Amanda Urke
Maria Iglesias
Gabe Ho
Isaac Justice
Faculty Advisor: Ross Venook

2019 Design Excellence Award – $5,000

Axexo: The Everyday Arm Exoskeleton
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Arm exoskeleton devices are used to support a user’s arm against the load of gravity while performing various arm tasks. Arm exoskeletons have a variety of medical, surgical, and industrial applications. Existing arm exoskeleton devices used in these markets are either fully supportive of both the upper arm and forearm, or compact, but not both. Existing compact arm exoskeletons do not provide five degrees of freedom (5-DOF), only support to the upper arm, which is primarily useful when working overhead. The team developed a device called Axexo, a fully-supportive, 5-DOF arm exoskeleton that can be worn under a shirt. The design allows the entire arm to be supported independent of its configuration, leaving the user’s arm to feel close to weightless as they perform tasks.

Team Members:
Andrew Bolkhovitinov
Anna Murgia
Cindy Chang
Cody Gavan
Emily Schanz
Josh Wenger
Joshua Hull
Julian Park
Lana Volchematieva
Lenna Roman
Michelle Prisbe
Patrick Girvan
Ranger Turner
Faculty Advisor: Alan Asbeck

honorable mentions

The Hera Bra for Detection of Subclinical Mastitis in Breastfeeding Mothers
Columbia University in the City of New York
The team developed the Hera Bra and Hera mobile application to detect subclinical mastitis prior to the onset of systemic symptoms.

The Apollo: An Expedited Approach to Cerclage Cable Application
Clemson University
The team developed a cerclage passer to enhance visualization for surgeons to secure the cerclage cable to the bone, decreasing time in surgery and soft tissue trauma to the patient.

The OpticLine
Stanford University
The team developed the OpticLine to detect early-stage infection in peritoneal dialysis patients by using optical density to measure the white blood cell concentrations of their waste fluid.

Relavo: Preventing Peritonitis in Peritoneal Dialysis
Johns Hopkins University
The team developed PeritoneX, a device to prevent infection among patients using at-home peritoneal dialysis to treat renal failure.

XZAMN: Dual Detection of Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Columbia University in the City of New York
The team developed a dual monitoring telemedicine solution that can detect the presence of an early-stage diabetic foot ulcer through associated inflammation and abnormal skin, localize and calculate the size of the ulcer through both thermal and digital imaging analysis, and alert physicians of the presence of a developing ulcer.

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