2012 BMEidea competition winners

2012 BMEidea winners announced!

From right to left, representatives of the winning teams from Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and Georgia Tech


First place, winning $10,000:
Point-of-Diagnosis Screening & Prevention of Cervical Cancer
Johns Hopkins University
While cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in the world, the disease has largely been eradicated in the developed world with the incorporation of regular screening and new opportunities for vaccinations. However, it remains a large burden in the developing world due to inadequate healthcare infrastructure, high costs, and the lack of an appropriate technology for treatment. Eighty-eight percent of all cervical cancer cases occur in the developing world.

This team, incorporated as Momo Scientific, is dedicated to reducing women’s deaths through the prevention of cervical cancer with a device called the CryoPop. The CryoPop is a patent-pending, low-cost medical device that uses dry ice for the treatment of cervical pre-cancerous lesions in low-resource settings. The CryoPop relies only on carbon dioxide tanks already available in developing countries (as a result of the presence of soda companies) and is ten times cheaper, thirty times more efficient, and more effective and reliable than the currently utilized technology.

Second place, winning $2,500:
Calcula Technologies: Office-based Kidney Stone R
Stanford University
Every year nearly two million U.S. patients are rushed to the emergency room (ER) with excruciating flank pain as a result of kidney stones. Urological guidelines stipulate that current stone therapies are indicated only for stones larger than ten millimeters, despite the fact that 85% of patients suffer from stones smaller than ten millimeters. These patients are prescribed narcotics, given a referral to an urologist, and sent home to pass the stone naturally over the course of several weeks. During this time patients revisit the ER, miss an average of 2.5 days of work, and suffer through acute pain onset that has been described as “the worst imaginable pain [a person] can experience.” Calcula Technologies is developing a solution that removes kidney stones smaller than ten millimeters in an office setting. The team’s minimally invasive, patent-pending device will render patients stone-free after a single visit to the urologist’s office without the use of general anesthesia. This opportunity represents a dramatic disruption in the field of urology and will allow millions of patients every year to avoid needlessly suffering through weeks of pain.

Third place, winning $1,000:
Magnet-assisted Intubation Device
Georgia Institute of Technology
Airway stabilization is one of the most important steps in emergency care. Whenever an individual’s ability to breathe is compromised, long-term brain damage can occur in as little as six minutes. This team created a device that allows medical professionals to perform safe, easy, and fast intubations. Intubation is magnet-assisted: a system of magnets both outside of the neck and within the endotracheal tube helps the professional visualize the airway and enter the trachea without the need of a laryngoscope. Additionally, the device is easily integrated with current intubation equipment and can be removed to allow for an MRI or similar test to be performed.

Honorable mentions:

  • Technology Innovation: SPIT’N-IT: Plasmonic Interferometers for Glucose Sensing in Saliva, Brown University
  • Social Impact: Wound-Pump, Massachusetts Institute of Technology