Penn Heath-Tech call for proposals

The Penn Center for Health, Devices and Technology (Penn Health-Tech) unites Penn’s strengths in Medicine, Engineering, Business and Education to create technologies and advance science to solve the world’s existing and emerging health care needs. The Penn Health-Tech mission is to foster breakthrough technological solutions that meet clinical needs through: (1) facilitating collaborations that apply basic science and technology developed at the University of Pennsylvania to clinical applications; (2) navigating and support in product development across the clinical product development pipeline from ideation to clinical pilots; and (3) providing education and research opportunities to expand our innovation ecosystem with next-generation medical device innovators.

As part of the Penn Health-Tech mission, we are seeking proposals for technology-based projects that address important healthcare needs. Proposed projects can be in any of the following pipeline phases: Idea Generation & Vetting, Prototyping, Proof of Principle Tests, and Clinical Pilots. In particular, we seek to support projects that can leverage Penn’s combined strengths in Engineering, Penn Medicine & Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Proposals can request funding and services worth up to $50K to advance their projects. Proposals that cross departments, schools, and promote sharing expertise are strongly encouraged.

Scope: While project proposals will be accepted to meet any clinical need, particular attention for this call will be paid to technologies in the following areas:

Technology areas:

- Digital Health Information Infrastructure: Interoperable, distributed, federated, and scalable digital infrastructure, languages, and tools for effective sharing and use of electronic health record data, data representation for such including semantic metadata, and networked applications that access such data.

- Data Science and Data Ecosystem: New techniques and algorithms for aggregating multi-scale clinical, biomedical, and contextual data from patients, devices, and decision support tools to facilitate optimized patient-centered, evidence-based care.

- Sensors, Devices and Systems: Design and development of new sensors, devices and systems to incorporate inputs and intelligence to guide and provide care. Devices will range from internal implants and external sensors, to prosthetics and smart orthotics, and to smart machines and assistive robots.

Healthcare needs:

- Sensors and diagnostics for Metabolism, Cancer and Immunity: Examples include new approaches to measure levels of critical metabolites, tumor related markers in the body, and send the information wirelessly to the healthcare provider.

- Hospital efficiency, quality and safety: Areas identified by nurses, doctors and hospital staff where technology and devices can improve the efficiency, quality and safety of inpatient and outpatient care.

- Musculoskeletal medicine: Novel devices and technology for biomechanical health, prevention, regeneration and repair. Examples include smart replacement joints with embedded sensors that tell the healthcare provider whether the new joints are being utilized optimally, or which sense shear and stress; devices to prevent falls and to track joint function and predict failure.

- Pediatrics: CHOP’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OEI) marries high impact clinical challenges in need of technical solutions with engineering expertise. In addition to scaling adult solutions to pediatric size specifications, unique pediatric clinical challenges must be addressed to create the new breakthroughs for which CHOP is known. Examples of current challenges in need of engineering collaboration include: pressure sensors to ensure secure seals/fit without inducing injury, efficient nurse training and documentation, devices for long term respiratory and feeding requirements.

- Device and Technology proposals for other unmet healthcare needs in Penn Medicine and/or CHOP will be accepted.

Funding amount: minimum $5K to maximum $50K per proposal; no indirect costs provided.

Funding duration: 12 months

Eligibility: Principal Investigator must be a full-time employees or students at the University of Pennsylvania or at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Submission: Submit via our website at http://healthtech.upenn.edu by September 15, 2017. Look for the “Apply” button.

Evaluation: Submissions will be reviewed by a committee consisting of senior Penn faculty and staff, and selected external panelists. Winners will be notified by October 10 and are expected to present at the next PHT symposia Nov 1, 2017.

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