Six pediatric medical device innovations that address a significant unmet need were awarded a total of $250,000 in grant money at the 4th annual Pediatric Surgical Innovation Symposium organized by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System.
The pitch competition is sponsored by the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), an FDA-funded consortium led by Children’s National and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Four companies were awarded $50,000 each and two were awarded $25,000. A record 91 submissions from eight countries were received for the competition this year.
Winning innovations receiving $50,000 awards are:
• Maternal Life, Palo Alto, Calif. – low-cost closed system that captures and administers colostrum to newborns with zero percent loss
• JustRight Surgical, Louisville, Colo. – second generation surgical 5mm stapler scaled for a wider range of pediatric surgical procedures and bringing the benefits of laparoscopy to patients
• Lully, San Francisco, Calif. – moisture sensor and Smart Pod monitor wirelessly connected to a smartphone app to prevent bedwetting episodes
• Center for Advanced Sensor Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, Md. – low-cost, disposable multifunctional incubator for at-risk, low birth weight babies
Winning innovations receiving $25,000 awards are:
• Nebula Industries, Melrose, Mass. – quick release medical tape to prevent neonatal and pediatric skin injuries
• May & Meadow, Inc., Redwood City, Calif. – low-cost, mobile medical device for assessing feeding ability in infants at risk for feeding problems
“We are honored to recognize these exciting innovations with this funding,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, Executive Director of NCC-PDI and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National. “It takes millions of dollars to bring a device to market and our program provides the funding needed to bridge the critical gap that often follows the prototyping phase in life cycle of the device.”
She adds that in addition to the grant prize and consultation services through NCC-PDI, the awardees can leverage the validation received through this highly competitive process to raise the additional capital needed for commercialization. Since inception in 2013, the first ten NCC-PDI award recipients have collectively raised $32 million in additional funding.
The competition was part of an annual symposium, organized by Children’s National, to foster innovation that will advance pediatric healthcare and address the unmet surgical and medical device needs for children.
“Even though they are a small portion of the patient population, it’s critical for children to have medical devices that are built specifically for them,” says Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children’s National. “Children’s National is committed to bringing together the key stakeholders including innovators, clinicians, policy makers, and investors, to support advancements in the care of children.”