9.15.10 Announcement: CIMIT Announces 2011 Prize Competition
$150,000 Engineering Prize awarded to CollaboRhythm Team
CIMIT Prize competition recognizes student research using novel technologies to address major diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in primary healthcare.
Boston, MA - CIMIT has announced the winners of the first CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare. This new nation-wide annual competition is designed to encourage graduate and undergraduate engineering students to develop creative technological solutions that have potential to enhance the delivery of care at the frontlines of medicine. Each year for the next 5 years, CIMIT will provide $400,000 in prizes to the best of projects.
The 2009 CIMIT Prizes have been awarded to student teams at four universities: University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University; MIT and Princeton. The four winning projects were selected from the ten finalists chosen last February from a field of 78 proposals.
"We are delighted with the passion this Prize competition has elicited amongst engineering students,” said Ronald Newbower, CTO and Co-Founder of CIMIT. “They are clearly eager to develop innovative technologies to address our national challenges in primary care. The winners of our major awards are headed toward terrific careers and may well serve as role models for others in their field. CIMIT is proud to be able to support their efforts."
The $150,000 First Prize has been awarded to John Moore for the project entitled CollaboRhythm: Primary Care Teamwork Anywhere at Any Time. Mr. Moore is pursuing his PhD at MIT in the Media Lab. The goal of his work is to design, implement and test a technology platform that will enable better remote collaboration between patient and caregiver in a more advanced manner than possible with today’s online and video-conferencing technologies. The core of the project is a personally-controlled health record, so that patients can have all needed information available anywhere, anytime. Novel human interfaces at both the patient side and caregiver side of interactions can potentially support a model of primary care that extends far beyond what is possible with just traditional office visits and phone or email contacts.
Second Prize and $100,000 has been awarded to Matthew Connor, for the project entitled iAbetics Web 2.0 Diabetes Management System. Mr. Connor is an undergraduate student in Engineering and Applied Sciences at Princeton University. This project addresses a long-standing problem of enhancing compliance and record-keeping for diabetics, in managing their chronic disease with diet and medication. The system includes education, compliance, data collection and a toolkit for research. By considering life-style factors in its design, iAbetics is positioning itself for the patient as a consumer, and seeks easy distribution via existing technology platforms.
Two projects tie for Third Prize and will split its $50,000 award. Richard Henrikson, a graduate student in Bioengineering at the University of Berkeley and his team will receive $25,000 in recognition for their work on developing a diagnostic device for detecting signature molecules in biologic fluids such as saliva. While there are many related projects in the field of microfluidic devices, the Aptazime-Mediated Signal Transduction technique was considered to have unique potential for significant impact. If successful, it could lead to a low-cost, disposable, point-of-care device for use in venues ranging from primary-care offices to field clinics in under-resourced and under-served regions of the world.
Ming Jack Po, a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering in Columbia University, shared the Third Prize and also receive $25,000 for his team’s project: Developing and Testing a Novel Therapeutic Game for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Rehabilitation and cognitive therapies are growing fields in gaming, and this project was recognized for its sophisticated approach to incorporating critical human elements of engagement in its design. It is focused on a group of disorders that are increasingly outstripping the capabilities of specialists and therapists to adequately respond and treat. This technology could be used at home or in other settings as well. When customized by the therapist to the patient’s specific needs and responses, this therapeutic game has the potential to leverage the health professional’s time and resources in a patient-centric way by affording greater functionality and quality of life, thereby reducing the emotional and financial burden on families as well as on the resources of the healthcare system, and the difficulties that primary care providers face in identifying suitable resources for this growing population of patients.
A National Competition
The national competition was open to graduate and undergraduate engineering students from accredited engineering programs and was designed to encourage development of technological innovation useful at the frontlines of healthcare, specifically to enhance delivery of primary care.
Areas of particular interest included improving access to medical care, leveraging the skill of caregivers, automating routine tasks, increasing efficiency of workflow, supporting patients dealing with chronic diseases, increasing compliance with care protocols, and developing tools to enhance the physician-patient relationship.
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. Given the terrific response to this year’s competition, we look forward with even greater anticipation to seeing the field of entrants this fall for next year’s Prize.”
Seventy-eight teams submitted applications in response to the prize competition. Candidates represented 44 universities from 21 states. Each of the ten finalists, selected after a careful review of the initial entries by a diverse panel of clinical and technology experts, received $10,000 from CIMIT to aid in the development of their ideas into projects.
The ten finalists, their schools and their projects were 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.”
Primary care refers to the activities of healthcare providers, physicians, nurses and colleagues, who act as a first point of consultation for patients. Access and efficiency are key to treating and effectively managing common acute and chronic illnesses, including infectious diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression and 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 offered promise of improved access to care, leveraging 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 was made possible through a generous gift from the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust, allowing support for the competition annually for five years.
“The challenge of delivering affordable excellent primary healthcare presents an opportunity for those students interested in engineering solutions to make truly profound contributions” 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 could help many families, and I am confident that much good will result from these inspiring projects. ”
CIMIT is the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology. A ten-year-old 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.