Oxygen Backpack Wins Top Prize at Global Health Hackathon
After a two-week hustle that started with more than 60 hackers, seven companies pitched their health care solutions in front of judges this week, closing out the Global Health Hackathon hosted by the Baylor College of Medicine Global Innovation Center.
Twelve teams formed to create solutions for four health care needs:
- Women’s health in procedural care (Malawi): Reducing risk of blood loss, blood clotting and injury during surgery through effective electrosurgery and pneumatic compression devices.
- Global health security/refugee health (Swaziland): Capacity strengthening to reduce infectious disease threats.
- Orthopedics and rehabilitation (Sri Lanka): Promoting prevention and treatment of diabetic foot through patient education, provider training and appropriate offloading technologies.
- NASA/space challenge: Providing medical care in extremely remote and resource-constrained environments.
After a few weeks at the TMC Innovation Institute meeting with mentors, attending educational workshops and tinkering with their teams, the companies competed in an elimination round June 19. Seven companies advanced to the final round to pitch in front of a panel of judges. The criteria they were looking for included public health impact, marketability, cultural appropriateness, relevance, usability, innovation and pitch quality.
Judges included Paul Klotman, M.D., president and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine; Stacie Frye, Ph.D., vice president of commercial operations for Lasergen; Michael Dilling, Ph.D., director of the Baylor Licensing Group; Lance Black, M.D., medical device innovation lead for the TMC Innovation Institute; Andrew Nerlinger, M.D., a venture partner at Vesalius International; and Farzad Soleimani, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and associate director of the TMC Innovation Biodesign program.
The final teams pitching were:
- High Performance. Delivered.: A modular diagnostic compression sleeve that is placed on the foot and can be modified based on the severity of the patient’s condition. The sleeve protects patients’ feet, detects when an injury occurs and reduces pressure to critical areas.
- MotoPen: A simplified electrosurgical pen, operated by foot pedal and easy to use and manufacture, along with a reusable pad based on saltwater conductance.
- SriTech: A diabetic foot prevention and education smartphone app.
- Shield O2: Affordable and sustainable patient oxygen in a backpack.
- Flavor: A product that masks the taste of antiretroviral therapy.
- Diabeticx Solutions: An app-based system that incentivizes diabetes treatment adherence and gives providers analytics to better serve the Sri Lankan population.
- Wounderful: A device to improve wound care in space and limited-resource environments.
After tough questions and much deliberation by the judges, Shield O2 was awarded the top prize, which includes $1,000, six months of co-working space in the TMC Innovation Institute and the ability to attend TMCx accelerator courses. Second place, and $500, went to Diabeticx. Flavor won third place and $250.