Stanford and UCSF Award Seed Funding to Top Device Developers at Pediatric Device Accelerator Pitch Competition

STANFORD, Calif., April 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Stanford Children's Health announced the winners of the pediatric medical device development competition hosted by the UCSF-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium (PDC). On March 29, Stanford Children's Health, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute, all part of Stanford Medicine, hosted the second annual Pediatric Innovation Showcase. Professionals in pediatric medicine and innovators gathered to experience and discuss emerging health care technologies, see prototypes in development, and network with thought leaders and researchers who are passionate about bringing new advances to the field. In a timed, Shark Tank–style presentation, 13 finalists from a total of 74 applicants pitched their pediatric device ideas—in various stages of development—to a panel of judges.

"The challenge that brings us here today is an acute need for the development of pediatric medical devices," said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, in his opening remarks at the event. "The consortium's mission to ensure that the latest technologies are available to all—in this case our youngest patients—mirrors that of Stanford Medicine's Precision Health vision."

Each year, the FDA approves far fewer devices for children than for adults, and the timeline for ultimate approval of pediatric devices lags five to 10 years behind those for adults. In 2018, as part of a congressionally-mandated effort to stimulate the development of pediatric devices, the FDA awarded a $6.7M grant to James Wall, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine and Michael Harrison, MD, of University of California, San Francisco to establish the UCSF-Stanford PDC.

"Our FDA-funded PDC has been active for nearly a decade, and we are thrilled to continue this work in partnership with Stanford," said Michael Harrison, MD, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at UCSF and Principal Investigator of the UCSF-Stanford PDC. "As evidenced by the pitches and overall interest in our program, there are many innovators eager to address pediatric clinical needs, and we are here to support them every step of the way."

Each finalist had the chance to win up to $50,000 in seed funding, prototyping support, and customized advising. The judges recognized the startups that showcased breakthroughs that could help accelerate the next generation of pediatric medical devices. The companies receiving funding include the following:

PLATINUM AWARD—$50,000 direct device funding from UCSF-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium

  • Bionic Tot—Button Huggie: Gastrostomy button securement device

  • Gravitas Medical—Optimizing enteral feeding, placement, and nutrition

  • Palmm—Bioelectronic device to stop excessive sweating

UCSF BENIOFF CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AWARD—$50,000

  • David Conrad, MD, University of California, San Francisco—Beacon: A wireless tracheostomy alarm and respiratory monitoring system

STANFORD MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH RESEARCH INSTITUTE AWARD—$50,000

  • David Camarillo, PhD, Stanford University—MiG2.0: Instrumented mouthguard for assessment of mild traumatic brain injury in youth contact sports

The UCSF-Stanford PDC aims to improve the health, safety, and quality of life of pediatric patients by accelerating high-value, high-impact pediatric device solutions at all stages of the total product lifecycle toward commercialization. "For Stanford Children's Health, innovation is central to delivering extraordinary care, serving our academic mission, and fueling breakthrough discoveries," said Paul King, president and CEO of Stanford Children's Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. "Collaborating with UCSF and across industries puts us at the forefront of some of the more daunting challenges in pediatric health care." The PDC also leverages the experience and network of the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign in the overall development of health technologies to bring pediatric devices to market. 

Additional awards went to Amnion Life, Smileyscope, Eclipse Enterogenesis, CereVu Medical, KIT Bio, and Eko. For more information on the competition, visit the consortium's site here.

newsStacy Kim