CMI Team Success Story:
2018 Randall Family Big Idea Competition
By Akhil Aniff, CMI Fellow
On March 29th 2018, several teams that have
received funding from the Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) participated in
the Randall Family Big Idea Competition at the University of Pittsburgh. The Big Idea Competition, hosted by the University
of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, allows teams of both undergraduate and
graduate students who are interested in entrepreneurship and innovation to compete
for funding of their new product ideas.
We are pleased to announce that several of the CMI-funded teams
won an award in the competition. The names of the projects, along with their
descriptions and prize amounts, are listed below:
OcuDERM is an innovative solution to help improve emergency treatment
of severe eye injuries. For instance, treatment options for eye injuries have
limited options that paramedics can provide. Specifically, a paper cup can be
positioned over the eye and taped in place to hold a sterile dressing. This is
a very poor way to immediately treat the injury, and it can often lead to serious
infections down the line.
Enter OcuDERM, a gel based bandage solution, that helps heal
the eye immediately after the injury has occurred. The sterile gel can be
applied to the point of injury by the paramedic and can be kept on the
patient’s eye until arrival at the hospital. The OcuDERM team is currently in
the Blast Furnace incubator program,
also hosted by the Innovation Institute, and is pursing options to
commercialize their technology.
4th Place ($2000)
Steeltown Retractor aims to design a motorized robotic arm
to help reduce the complexity of performing open abdominal surgery. Abdominal
surgeries can often be complicated to perform due to the diverse anatomy
present, the depth of the incisions that have to be made as well as the
fragility of the surrounding organs. The Steeltown Retractor is a solution that
will help surgeons perform skin retractions in a hands-free way. The goal of
the product is to help reduce overall surgery time which will therefore reduce
the costs of health care. The team has formed a startup company, Atlas Technologies.
Read more about the other teams from the Swanson School of Engineering that placed at this year's Big Idea Competition here!