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2011 CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare — Finalists Selected

CIMIT has announced 10 finalists in its competition for the 2011 CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare.  Each engineering student team will be awarded $10,000 to develop a final proposal for innovative technology to serve the needs of the frontlines of healthcare. This year’s competition was very strong with applications from over 33 different engineering programs nationwide.

The 10 teams must submit final proposals by May 31, 2011.  Three top winners will then be chosen from the ten, and announced on June 30th. The top three will receive $150,000, $100,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Demand for primary care in the US has increased while the supply of primary-care professionals such as internists, family practitioners, and pediatricians — healthcare providers who act as a first point of consultation for patients –- has actually decreased. With the shortage of primary care professionals, innovative technology has the potential to improve access to and efficiency of patient care at that key connection point in the healthcare system. The CIMIT Prize competition offers valuable initial funding to engineering students to develop technologic innovations that offer great potential to support and catalyze improved delivery of healthcare at the frontlines of medicine. 

The ten finalists, institutions and projects selected for the final round of the 2011 CIMIT Primary Healthcare Prize are:

Brian Bell Jr., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
collaborating with Steve Xu and Michael Simoni of Harvard Medical School
Title: “GetWell: Innovative web-based tool to address health literacy”

Pablo Bello, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
collaborating with Carson Darling and Thomas Lipoma also of MIT
Title: “Somnus - Sleep Diagnostics Shirt”

Melodie Benford, Texas A&M University
Title: “An Innovative Point-of-Care Blood Biomarker Device for
Diagnosing Heart Attacks”

Yoonju Cho, Johns Hopkins University
Collaborators: Vikram Aggarwal, Mohsen Mollazadeh & Abhishek Rege
of Johns Hopkins University
Title: “Noninvasive Measurement of Central Venous Pressure for
Primary Care Environments”     

George Daaboul, Boston University
Collaborators: Rahul Vedula, Abdulkadir Yurt & Xirui Zhang
of Boston University
Title: “Rapid Label Free Multi-pathogen Diagnostic Platform with Multi-Parameter Single Virus Detection for Point of Care Setting”

Matt Dubach, Northeastern University
Collaborating with Kate Balaconis also of Northeastern Univeristy
Title: “Lighting up Diagnostics: Continuous Monitoring of Electrolyte Imbalances”

Kejia Li, Kansas State University
Title: “Everyday Carry Wireless Health Monitor with
Customizable Surface Components”

Asanterabi Malima, Northeastern University
Collaborating with Jaydev Upponi & Cihan Yilmaz of Northeastern University
Title: “Highly Sensitive Micron Scale In-vivo Biosensor for
Multiple Biomarker Detection”

Elliot Swart, Yale University
Collaborating with Nickolas Demas & Elizabeth Asai of Yale University
Title: “Low Cost Scanner for Monitoring Shape, Color, and Volume Characteristics of Melanocytic Nevi”

John Waldeisen, University of California, Berkeley
Collaborating with Benjamin Ross also of University of California, Berkeley
Title: “Self-powered Blood Coagulation Chip for INR Value and
Hematocrit Determination”

About the CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare Competition

A national competition open to graduate and undergraduate engineering students from accredited engineering programs, the CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare competition seeks ideas for technologic innovations with great potential to support and catalyze improved delivery of healthcare at the frontlines of medicine. 

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’s mission is to improve healthcare by seeking, selecting and supporting teams of clinicians and technologists. A goal in this competition is 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.

The CIMIT Prize for Primary Healthcare is made possible through a generous gift from the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust.

CIMIT is the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology. A non-profit consortium of Boston's leading teaching hospitals and universities, CIMIT fosters interdisciplinary collaboration among world-class experts in translational research, medicine, science and engineering, in concert with industry, foundations and government, to rapidly improve patient care. 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, Northeastern University, Partners HealthCare and VA Boston Healthcare System.

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