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July 19, 2017
Kathleen Paice Froio, paicek@upstate.edu

Upstate competition seeks to bring medical device ideas to marketplace

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— A heat sleeve designed for limb amputees, an at-home glaucoma measurement test and a personal health and wellness messaging system are among seven medical devices and service proposals selected to participate in the Medical Device Innovation Challenge sponsored by Upstate MIND (Medical Innovation and Novel Discovery Center) at the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) at Upstate Medical University.

“As people age and desire to be active longer, medicine is changing, and at the forefront of the change is the need for innovative and new medical devices and services,” said Robert Corona, DO, MBA, Upstate’s pathology chair and vice president for innovation and development. “The Medical Device Innovation Challenge is a way to jump start this region’s push into the medical device market. It’s a growing market worldwide, and with this region’s entrepreneurial spirit and a robust eds and meds scene, Central New York could be poised to make a splash in this area.”

The Medical Device Innovation Challenge winners will receive six months of rent-free space at the CNYBAC and use of the Upstate MIND Creation Garage, a space equipped with technology, such as 3D printers, to go from idea to prototype. They will also receive free consultations with business experts on how to pitch their products to gain further funding, navigate the regulatory environment and produce data to help assess product marketability.

Additionally, the winners will receive free admittance to business-related workshops, including the upcoming Medical Device Concept to Commercialization Boot Camp, being offered to the public in three sessions, each with a different focus. (Aug. 3 and 4: Technology Commercialization, US Regulations and Engineering; Sept. 14 and 15: Design and Development, Legal and Start Up Planning; Oct. 12 and 13: Topics for Emerging Companies, Data and Resources.

“We anticipate that at the end of the program, these start-ups will have determined if their medical device products or services have the commercialized viability, plans and prototype to move into the commercialization stage,” Corona said.

Jack Rudnick, professor and director of the New York State Science & Technology Law Center at Syracuse University, led the committee that sorted through more than a dozen entries in the Medical Device Innovation Challenge.

“I wasn’t surprised at all by what ideas we reviewed,” Rudnick said, of the Medical Device Innovation Challenge. “The caliber and variety of ideas came from pipefitters and PhDs to physicians, engineers and nurses. With [medical device manufacturers] Conmed Corp. to the east and Welch Allyn to west, it’s no surprise that these ideas are coming forward from this community.”

A complete list of Medical Device Innovation Challenge winners is below:

Costello Prosthetic Warmers is a medical device startup founded by Bryan Costello, a lower leg amputee who invented its first product, the Costello Heatsleeve. The Costello Heatsleeve is based on a patented technology that applies therapeutic heat to the amputee’s stump as well as the prosthesis in order to ease pain and make the prosthesis more comfortable for the wearer.

EndoGlow designs and manufactures fluorescent medical devices for use in surgery and other procedures. These devices allow physicians to better visualize critical anatomic structures and can improve patient safety, enhance surgical efficiency, and reduce costs.

ISEE Loyal Tech seeks to design, patent, and market ophthalmological devices that make a meaningful difference in a patient’s life. ISEE’s primary focus is in the area of glaucoma prevention and treatment. The technology helps glaucoma patients by providing a home-use medical device with data transfer service. The device enables real time eye pressure measurement and eye pressure data tracking.

ModoScript is working on its Pill-Safe system, which is a business-to-business platform for physicians, health insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare facilities, government agencies, and law enforcement aimed at combating and reducing costs associated with prescription drug abuse, patient non-adherence, overdose, under-dose, and prescription drug trafficking.

One Stone Technology LLC is seeking solutions to support sustained behavior modification to improve health and wellness. One product is a patient engagement/messaging platform that supports direct communication between patients and subscribers and their clinical team or health coach. The objective is to improve health outcomes by providing timely, personalized messaging that enhances an individual’s knowledge, motivation and confidence in managing their health.

Harris Skeele Corp. (also know as Simpler Links), is a medical device startup founded by two nurses with a focus on contributing to the reduction of “Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections” or CAUTI’s. They have evolved the Foley catheter securement device into one that can track “Dwell Time.” A Foley catheter is a sterile thin tube used to drain the bladder of urine for a period of time called dwell time. This patent pending device is called “Safe Dwell GU”. Losing track of Foley catheter dwell time is a major contributor to urinary tract infections in hospitals. The team is hoping their device can play a role in preventing this issue.

Superlative BioSciences Corp., a biosciences product and service company, plans to develop, validate, and market its Stem Cellular Toxicology Service – a system of medical device in vitro diagnostics in the field of human developmental toxicology that uses human umbilical cord and placental stem cells in tissue culture instead of animals.The service will be able to determine what adverse developmental effects may result from chemical exposure (hazard identification) and at what level of exposure these effects occur (exposure/dose–response relationships).

Sherod Harris and Trina Skeele, nurses at Upstate University Hospital, are developing a special catheter that will reduce infection rates by automatically keeping track of how long the catheter is in use. Their startup, Harris Skeele Corp., was selected as a participant in the Medical Device Innovation Challenge.

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