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Winners of NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge for Maternal Health Announced

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The National Institutes of Health today announce the winners of the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge (NTAC) for Maternal Health, a prize contest for developers of diagnostic techniques to improve maternal health around the world. Did. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are major health problems in the world. Tragically, these complications kill more than 800 women and 7,000 newborns each day. A low-cost diagnosis that works at the point of care and can detect and distinguish common pregnancy-related conditions should help reduce the high morbidity and mortality of pregnant women in low-resource environments.

The award-winning technology shares a total prize pool of $ 1 million for the successful design and development of diagnostic tests and platform technologies to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. The prize competition, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Health and NIH Laboratory on Women’s Health.

The contest prioritized technologies that could have life-saving impacts on women, families and communities, and provided healthcare professionals with technologies that could be easily integrated into patient practice. Congratulations to the teams entering this competitive arena with innovative device design and platform technology, and clarified the path to translation and use of innovation for global health settings. “

Dr. Bruce J. Tromberg, NIBIB Director

Priority maternal health conditions covered by NTAC for Maternal Health include infections, hypertension, bleeding, and placental problems. Bleeding, preeclampsia, and bacterial infections account for more than 50% of the world’s maternal mortality rates, with 94% of these mortality rates occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

The NTAC for Maternal Health has collected over 40 entries, five of which have been selected to receive prizes, and four more have received prestigious mention awards. Each prize winner will be invited to present an overview of diagnostic techniques at the Livestreaming Winners Showcase starting Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 2:30 pm. Please pre-register here at least 1 hour before the event.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will screen winners and prestigious recipients separately and consider additional assistance, including grants and in-kind payments in the form of clinical data collection, consultations and partnerships for software development. increase. , Scale up and manufacturing. Find out more about the NTAC for Maternal Health program.

The award-winning technologies are:

1st place and $ 500,000 prize money. Dr. Bethany Hedt-Gauthier at Harvard University in Boston. A mHealth tool for home diagnosis of post-Thessaly births of community-acquired surgical site infections and anemia. A stand-alone integrated mobile health tool for community health workers to monitor postpartum recovery by women after caesarean section. This tool enables home diagnosis of infections and anemias at the surgical site. The team designed the technology used in the countryside of Rwanda. Its use may be transferred to low infrastructure and resource settings in other countries.

Second place and $ 300,000 prize money. University of California, Irvine. Maternal Obstetrics Monitoring Socks (MOMS). Hemodynamic monitoring socks are a low-cost, portable point-of-care system for monitoring pregnant women for preeclampsia, anemia, and bleeding. It continuously tracks blood pressure and heart rate and monitors blood flow. It can be used during and after delivery with low resource settings.

3rd place tie and $ 75,000 prize money. Softsonics, LLC, San Diego. Wearable ultrasound / electrochemical sensor for maternal health monitoring. A conformal, stretchy, integrated wearable sensor that provides dynamic and comprehensive monitoring of pregnancy complications such as sepsis, preeclampsia, and placental dysfunction. Sensors monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and lactate levels, facilitating Doppler ultrasound imaging. This technology eliminates the need for trained operators and enables use in low resource environments.

3rd place tie and $ 75,000 prize money. Raydiant Oximetry, Inc., San Francisco. LUMERAH ™ near-infrared spectroscopy platform for diagnosing maternal bleeding and fetal distress during pregnancy. The LUMERAH ™ system is a non-invasive platform technology that uses near-infrared spectroscopy to perform non-invasive pulse oximetry. This device has been developed for the diagnosis of fetal hypoxic distress during labor and postpartum maternal bleeding. These conditions affect mothers in developed and developing countries.

Semi-finalists and $ 50,000 prize money. Stanford University, Stanford, California. A point-of-care diagnostic tool for pre-eclampsia and anemia during pregnancy. A fully integrated molecular diagnostic system on a miniaturized disposable semiconductor chip enables easy, low-cost, early detection of pre-eclampsia and maternal anemia at the Point of Care. This technology identifies high-risk pregnancies, enables close monitoring and early intervention, and is suitable for use in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries.

Good mention. VoluMetrix, LLC, Nashvllle. Non-invasive venous waveform analysis (NIVA) for maternal health. An accurate, easy-to-use, non-invasive wrist sensor for monitoring key physiological variables by capturing low-frequency venous waveforms. Developed to provide bleeding monitoring, early detection of preeclampsia, and monitoring of acute respiratory distress. Ease of use and portability allow healthcare providers to monitor patients in the hospital or at home during the perinatal and parturition periods.

Good mention. Dr. Mathias Wipf, MOMM Diagnostics, Basel, Switzerland. Rapid diagnostic test for preeclampsia (RaPiD). A cost-effective way to rule out or diagnose pre-eclampsia at the Point of Care through an easy-to-use blood test. This proof-of-concept prototype for a rapid diagnostic test of pre-eclampsia determines the concentration ratio between two pre-eclampsia biomarkers from a drop of blood. It provides a low-cost solution for immediate and continuous monitoring of patients during pregnancy testing.

Good mention. Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Change maternal lying position to prevent pre-eclampsia and placental disease. The Automatic Supine Pressurization Test (Auto-SPT) is a supine presser test used to predict the risk of pre-eclampsia based on an increase in diastolic blood pressure when a pregnant woman shifts from the left to the back. It is an application of. Auto-SPT guides the patient to the test using standard brachial blood pressure cuffs, smartphones, and position sensors. Auto-SPT is primarily designed for home use for risk prediction of preeclampsia or therapeutic positioning to reduce placental disease.

Good mention. Washington University in St. Louis. Pregnant Armor: Use wearable devices to prevent worldwide maternal mortality and morbidity. A low-cost wearable device that provides real-time data that informs early clinical decision-making of bleeding and preeclampsia in high-resource and low-resource settings. Maternal aRMOR uses low-power laser and optical sensors to monitor physiological changes that can be used to diagnose bleeding and preeclampsia. The device can be worn during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum recovery and interfaces with a mobile phone or tablet to provide practical results in minutes.


National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering