The final event in the Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh®) concluded with the award of funding to innovative projects featuring wearable devices that address problems in health care. The challenge, which is in its fourth year, was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The central question addressed by this year’s contestants was, “How can we use wearable technology to address an important health problem?”
“Wearable technology capabilities are advancing rapidly, and this year’s PInCh final showcased how this technology can make a difference in health care,” said CTSI director Steven Reis, MD, who also is associate vice chancellor for clinical research, health sciences, and a distinguished professor of medicine at Pitt’s School of Medicine.
Of the 13 winners, two project teams included McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members. Both winning solutions will also positively impact US military veterans. The projects and teams are:
$125,000 Award Recipient: MOVISU-Fit
Team Members: Krista Kutina, Michael Boninger, Dave Brienza, Katee Coleman, Goeran Fiedler, Alicia Koontz, Mary Miknevich, Kristana Mitchell
Description: Mobile gait training system for lower limb amputees that provides real time visual feedback from data derived from an integrated kinetic sensor in the prosthetic limb.
$30,000 Award Recipient: Manual Wheelchair Virtual Seating Coach
Team Members: S. Andrea Sundaram, Josh Brown, Joshua Chung, Rory Cooper, James Landis
Description: A system to help manual wheelchair users to learn and remember to do adequate pressure reliefs to prevent the development of pressure ulcers.
After two rounds of pre-selection, 13 teams were invited to compete at the final pitch event. Three projects took home $100,000 to $125,000 each in funding, seven received $10,000 to $30,000, and three others received $10,000 on Oct. 25 during an evening filled with live presentations and posters at the University Club in Oakland. Funds to support 2017 PInCh awards were provided by DSF Charitable Foundation, the charitable-giving organization of the David Scaife family.