It’s that time of the year again when the brightest collegiate minds in the country try and solve the most difficult and frustrating problems and make the rest of us feel like lazy bums. The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance has been having their annual competition, BMEidea, since 2004. The competition pairs up college teams with both university and industry mentors to solve real world health problems with designs that must be practical and have potential for commercialization. First prize is $10,000 dollars, which will also include product development and commercialization resources and training.
This year’s finalists have been announced and are as follows (from the website):
Natural Orifice Volume Enlargement (NOVEL) Device team: University of Cincinnati
A device that will help urogynecological procedures, by providing surgeons with improved visibility and access to deep target tissues, and thereby reducing post-operative complications such as adhesions, incisional hernias, significant patient pain and prolonged recovery time.
A Low Cost Ventilator for Use in Developing Nations and Large Scale Disasters team: Stanford University
A low-cost ventilator designed to treat acute respiratory distress patients in low-resource, pandemic and emergency environments. To fill the need in all cases, the device is affordable (approx $300), rechargeable, portable, and disposable.
Rapid Hypothermia Induction Device team: Johns Hopkins University
A device that emergency or ambulance personnel can use to rapidly and safely administer a therapeutic hypothermia treatment to victims of cardiac arrest, to improve their chances of survival upon reaching hospital.
All the devices seem prize-worthy, and the hypothermia and low-cost ventilator devices seem to have some serious life-saving potential. However, if any of you readers has ever sat or stood through a Bonanza (a urogynecology fellow’s loving term for rectocele/cystocele repair with a TAH and urethral sling) you know that the more “Orifice Volume Enlargement” the better. The winners will be announced next Wednesday, June 9th.
Read more at the BMEidea 2010 Website…
Flashbacks: 2009’s Winners, 2008’s Winners