IDEA² Global holds first Impact Proposition Workshop at MIT

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Teams collaborate over 2 days with diverse experts to refine their research ideas for innovation impact

IDEA² Global teams met at MIT on September 19–20 for the first Impact Proposition Workshop. 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS—16 teams of biomedical innovators met at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the inaugural Impact Workshop of the IDEA2 Global program. IDEA2 Global, part of MIT linQ, is a project mentorship program that attracts biomedical innovation teams with ideas for new technologies that, if realized, could improve healthcare. In the workshop, teams were given intensive advising from a diverse group of health technology and business experts to help refine their project ideas and development strategy.

The project ideas ranged in subjects, from new PET-guided biopsy technology to big data strategies for analyzing and preventing accidents in hospital care. They included:

  • S-There: A technology to help toilets become smart-devices for monitoring health conditions.
  • UltraLymph: A new safe, portable cancer screening device.
  • Near Miss Health: A web-based app for tracking and analyzing healthcare safety incidents.
  • Pacifist: An unobtrusive intelligent baby monitor and pacifier.
  • SmartClot: A technology for mobile devices to monitor blood coagulation.
  • Endema: A wearable device to help patients comply with ambulation treatments.
  • Endovascular device for biomimetic aortic repair
  • MRI gel radioisotope medical imaging system
  • My Health Decision Tree: A system to help people understand and manage their care options for health conditions.
  • EpiDisease: A method and device kit for creating diagnosis and prognosis
  • Kit for PET guided biopsy
  • New technology platform for ultrasound-supported labor induction
  • ICU Rehab: A platform for inpatient neurocognitive stimulation
  • fProbes: Biocompatible transcortical probes to support pharmaceutical delivery
  • Absorbable Dural Anchor: A sealing system to mitigate physiological impact of dural punctures in anesthesia

IDEA² Global program chair Mercedes Balcells-Camps discusses the Impact Proposition Workshop. 

Five teams emerged from medical hackathons—short, intense collaboration sessions, usually involving diverse groups of technologists, clinicians, and designers meeting for the first time to tackle medical challenges in creative ways. UltraLymph, Near Miss Health, and Endema were selected from MIT Hacking Medicine’s 2016 Grand Hack, and S-There and My Health Decision Tree were formed at Hacking Chronic Disease, held in Bilbao, Spain in May. Six other teams were sponsored by FIPSE, a Spanish healthcare innovation nonprofit, and the remaining teams were selected from a global call for proposals.

Mercedes Balcells-Camps, IDEA2 Global program chair, was excited by the progress the teams made in refining their project ideas. “The teams made tremendous progress. Some shifted their technology strategies to better address the medical needs they are interested in, and others refined their healthcare innovation targets.”

Team S-There at the Impact Proposition Workshop

Adrian Gomez (left) and Amaia Garcia (right) of Team S-There, IDEA² Global winner at Hacking Chronic Disease

Amaia Garcia, member of the S-There team, felt energized by participating in the workshop. “It has been a huge learning experience to be with people with other backgrounds than ours…we’ve also learned a lot from MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” she said, adding, “the feedback from the faculty has helped us focus more on the medical problem, and on the next steps.”

In the months ahead, the teams will be paired with mentors and technical experts to help them advance their technologies further. When they meet again in January 2017, Balcells-Camps said, “I expect they will have defined very concrete problems, and know enough about the clinical settings, the engineering and software, and the business strategy, to make their projects work.”

IDEA2 Global is supported by funding from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Spain, Fundación para la Innovación y la Prospectiva en Salud en España (FIPSE, a Spain-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing new healthcare technologies) and PDS, Inc., a US-based IT services and innovation company.

IDEA² Global teams sponsored by FIPSE, at the Impact Proposition Workshop at MIT. 

About IDEA2 Global

IDEA² Global provides mentoring and connections to biomedical innovators around the world to develop their project ideas and to provide the expertise to realize them. It is especially valuable for trainees, early-stage professionals, and those who have few opportunities in their normal work to participate in innovation projects. IDEA2 Global merges two precursor programs, IDEA2 HST (Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology) launched in 2007 to support HST graduate and medical students to define their thesis research, and IDEA2 Madrid, which was launched by Madrid’s regional government in 2012 to support emerging technology innovators.

About MIT linQ

MIT linQ is an initiative based in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences (MIT IMES) to develop a new paradigm for biomedical technology innovation. MIT linQ, part of the MIT Innovation Initiative, unifies a portfolio of international innovation programs focused on improving healthcare through need-driven, interdisciplinary research and training. For more information, visit