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COVID-19 edition of pediatric medical device competition announces winners

Judges award grants for pediatric medical devices that address COVID-19 related needs July 23, 2020

The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) announces eight winners chosen in its special COVID-19 edition of the “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” competition. Focused on innovations in COVID-19-related pediatric medical devices that will improve children’s health care, 16 finalists competed on Monday, July 20 in a virtual pitch event for a share of $250,000 in total grant awards.

A panel of 75 expert judges from health care, business, investor and regulatory sectors selected award winners based on the clinical significance and commercial feasibility of their COVID-19-related medical devices for children. The competition focused on medical devices that support home health monitoring and telehealth, and improve sustainability, resiliency and readiness in diagnosing and treating children during a pandemic.

For safety and efficiency, the competition utilized a video conference format. The event was presented by NCC-PDI co-founders Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Hospital and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, and powered by nonprofit accelerator and NCC-PDI member, MedTech Innovator.

“Because of the high quality of submissions and the critical need for pandemic-related pediatric medical devices, we are excited to recognize and award eight innovations from this event’s highly competitive field” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D.,M.B.A., P.M.P., vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National and principal investigator of NCC-PDI. “COVID-19 is presenting unprecedented challenges and my NCC-PDI colleagues and I know that supporting pediatric innovations will improve care for the patients and families we serve."

Here are the 2020 "Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!” special COVID-19 edition competition winners and their grant awards:

  • Bloom Standard (Kaaria), Hong Kong, China - $20,000 awarded - wearable, AI-driven ultrasound for infant cardiac and pulmonary screening and diagnostics
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – $20,000 awarded - transparent reusable DIY origami facemask that reveals facial expressions & improves communication
  • Hopscotch, Ithaca, New York - $20,000 awarded - gamified cognitive behavioral therapy-based computer exercises to encourage kids to stay engaged and complete treatment programs
  • Medipines, Yorba Linda, California - $50,000 awarded - monitor device that displays critical respiratory parameters analyzed from a patient's breathing sample
  • OtoPhoto, Baltimore, Maryland - $20,000 awarded - a smart otoscope that quickly and accurately aids diagnosis of ear infections for home telehealth use
  • TGV-Dx, New York, New York -$50,000 awarded - a novel, phenotype-based test system for rapid selection of effective antibiotic regimen
  • Vitls, Houston, Texas - $50,000 awarded - wearable platform for remote patient monitoring of the vitals clinicians require to assess a patient
  • X-Biomedical, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - $20,000 awarded - rugged, portable smart ICU ventilator for pediatric and adult patients 

The competition format included a pitch presentation by the innovators to the judging panel followed by a question-and-answer session. Judges’ questions delved further into the development process, feasibility of the technology, current resources, the potential market and commercialization strategy.

“These winners represent some of the most promising emerging medical device innovations in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of children affected by COVID-19," said Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator. “I'm thrilled that we were able to work together with NCC-PDI and 75 expert industry stakeholders and clinicians to provide support for these innovators on their critical missions to improve and protect the lives of pediatric patients, our most vulnerable population.”

Along with grant funding, one company from the competition will be selected by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS at a later date to receive a one-year residency at JLABS @ Washington, DC, which will be located on the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus currently under construction. In addition to the 2021 JLABS residency, the awardee will have access to the JLABS community and expert mentoring by the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. NCC-PDI and JLABS will announce the recipient once the selection process is completed. 

Funding for the competition is made possible by a grant from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a philanthropic gift from Mei Xu, founder of e-commerce platform Yes She May, a site dedicated to women-owned brands. A mother and a creator of successful global lifestyle businesses, Mei Xu welcomed the innovators and observed pitch presentations. During the general sessions, participants also had an opportunity to hear from representatives of organizations supporting innovation such as MedTech Innovator, Children’s National, University of Maryland’s Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, JLABS, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Center for Advancing Innovation, and Maryland Tech Council.

NCC-PDI is one of five members in the FDA’s Pediatric Device Consortia Grant Program created to support the development and commercialization of medical devices for children, which lags significantly behind the progress of adult medical devices. To date, NCC-PDI has mentored over 100 medical device sponsors to help advance their pediatric innovations, with 12 devices having received either their FDA market clearance or CE marking.

To learn more about NCC-PDI and the COVID-19 special edition competition, visit

Media Contacts:  Cherri Carbonara | 713-524-8170 | 832-473-6380 and Kristi Powers | 713-524-8170 | 713-898-4849 

About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., celebrates 150 years of pediatric care, research and commitment to community. Volunteers opened the hospital in 1870 with 12 beds for children displaced after the Civil War. Today, 150 years stronger, it is among the nation's top 10 children's hospitals. It is ranked No. 1 for newborn care for the fourth straight year and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. In 2020, construction will be complete on the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus, the first in the nation dedicated to pediatric research. Children's National has been designated twice as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers in the D.C., metropolitan area, including the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and is the nation’s seventh-highest NIH-funded children’s hospital. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. 

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