9.15.10 Announcement: CIMIT Announces 2011 Prize Competition
10 Finalists Selected for CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare
CIMIT has announced 10 finalists in the first CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare, and each team will be awarded $10,000 to develop its idea in preparation for the final judging. Response to this national competition was remarkably strong, and the finalists were chosen from a field of 78 teams at 44 universities in 21 states.
The 10 final proposals will be due May 31, and announcement of the three top winners will be made on June 30. Those three will receive $150,000, $100,000 and $50,000, respectively. A total of 50 distinguished clinicians and engineers with experience in primary care, engineering and cutting-edge technology contributed their expertise to CIMIT's process of selecting the finalists.
The 10 finalists, their schools and their projects are as follows:
Brant Chee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Title: “Automation extraction of drug regimens and outcomes from health messages.”
Winnie Cheng, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Title: “My medical elephant; Improving medical history reliability.”
Matthew Connor, Princeton University
Title: “iAbetics Web 2.0 diabetes management system.”
Sanna Gaspard, Carnegie Mellon University
Title: “Development of a diagnostic instrument for early-stage pressure ulcers (bed sores).”
Richard Henrikson, University of California, Berkeley
Title: “Versatile, rapid and inexpensive molecular detection through modular aptazyme-mediated signal transduction in a microfluidic device.”
Sarah Jeffords, Texas A & M University
Title: “Digital camera-coupled ophthalmoscope.”
Erez Lieberman, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program
Title: “iShoe Insole.”
John Moore, MIT
Title: “Collaborative Technology for Primary Care: Teamwork anywhere at any time.”
Ming Jack Po, Columbia University
Title: “Therapeutic gaming for autistic children.”
Kurt Qing, Northwestern University
Title: “KMC ApneAlert.”
"We are delighted with the range of the proposals we received from superb groups of students in universities all over the country,” said Ronald Newbower, PhD, chief technology officer at CIMIT and head of the CIMIT Prize effort. “The 10 selected as finalists, in contention for our three major prizes, address many of the challenging issues of patient access to primary care. We hope the ingenuity and energy of these student-led teams will inspire others to devote their talents to tackling the problems of front-line medical care with the power of modern cost-effective technology."
Primary care refers to the activities of healthcare providers who act as a first point of consultation for patients. Access and efficiency are key to treating common acute and chronic illnesses, including infections, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression and back pain.
CIMIT’s mission is to improve healthcare by seeking, selecting and supporting teams of clinicians and technologists. A goal in this competition was to offer major awards to encourage undergraduate and graduate engineering students to develop technological innovations that have potential to enhance patient care at that initial point of contact with the healthcare system. Technologies of particular interest were those that promise improved access to medical care, levering the skill of caregivers, automating routine tasks, increasing efficiency of workflow, supporting patients with chronic disease, increasing compliance with care-protocols, reducing medical error and augmenting the physician-patient relationship.
The CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare is made possible through a generous gift from the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust, which will support the competition annually over the next five years.
“Affordable excellent primary healthcare presents an opportunity for those interested in engineering solutions,” said Mark Gelfand, a principal in the trust. “I am pleased with CIMIT's success in launching this first year of an annual competition. Innovation in primary care would help many families, and I am confident that much good will come from the final proposals that will be submitted in May.”
CIMIT Executive Director John Parrish, MD, commented, “This is an example of CIMIT using its ability to convene engineers and clinicians to address an urgent need in healthcare. Even some projects that were not selected will likely evolve into useful solutions in the future.”
CIMIT is the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology. A non-profit consortium of Boston-area teaching hospitals and engineering schools, CIMIT provides innovators with resources to explore, develop and implement novel technological solutions for today’s most urgent healthcare problems. Participants in the consortium are Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Boston University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Partners HealthCare and VA Boston Healthcare System.