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Two Pediatric Medical Device Companies Receive Prestigious Award at MedTech Color Edition of Make Your Medical Device Pitch For Kids!™ competition

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03/19/2024
eurekalert.org

Alliance for Pediatric Device Innovation (APDI), a federally funded consortium led by Children’s National Hospital, and member MedTech Color announce the winners of the latest Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!™ competition, which focused on recognizing and supporting African American and Hispanic pediatric medical device innovators. The awardees received a combined $50,000 in grant funding from APDI, made possible by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support the advancement of pediatric medical technologies to the market. 

The winners were selected from a field of five finalists who gave pitch presentations on their innovation’s attributes, benefits to patients and pathway to commercialization before a panel of five expert judges. The event was held on March 15 at the University of California, Los Angeles, as part of the annual MedTech Color Pitch Competition during L.A. MedTech Week 2024, powered by BioscienceLA. 

The award-winning pediatric devices and companies are:  

  • Rubitection, Pittsburgh, Pa.– A low-cost skin assessment management tool for chronic wounds, Rubitection measures the properties of the skin. The system allows the user to monitor incremental changes in skin health to predict risk, monitor progression and customize care.

  • Kofimi Technology Inc.,Danvers, Mass. – This patent-pending pulse oximeter device is designed specifically for pediatric populations to provide superior accuracy for all levels of skin pigmentation. A pulse oximeter measures oxygen levels in the blood.

Funding innovators of African American and Hispanic backgrounds is crucial for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives because it addresses systemic barriers and inequities that have historically hindered this group from accessing resources and opportunities in the life sciences sector,” said Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., M.B.A., P.M.P., vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National and APDI program director and principal investigator. “Supporting a diverse group of innovators enriches the research and development process by bringing a variety of perspectives and viewpoints representing all populations.”

Along with the grant award, all finalists receive access to a network of supportive resources and expertise as part of their connection to APDI and MedTech. 

Along with the pitch presentations, the event program included a keynote talk from Tonya Kinlow, vice president of Community Engagement, Advocacy and Government Affairs at Children’s National, highlighting advocacy initiatives leading to an all-inclusive system of care for children.  

Julia Finkel, M.D., pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s National and principal investigator for APDI, participated in the panel discussion “Inequity within Inequity,” which highlighted how racial disparities in pediatric healthcare remain a critical challenge across the United States. APDI’s goal is to advance pediatric devices that meet patient needs while promoting a more inclusive approach to discovering and supporting talented innovators.

“We believe there is a community of companies focused on platforms that treat or diagnose pediatrics,” said Kwame Ulmer, founder of MedTech Color. “This partnership allows us to significantly increase the support we provide for entrepreneurs in this area. We are delighted to be a part of the Children's National community to drive positive patient outcomes." 

Founded in 2017, MedTech Color is a nonprofit organization built on the same ideal: diverse leadership in the medical technology ecosystem leads to greater innovation and better outcomes. The organization works to advance the representation of people of color in the medical device industry and to nurture the next generation of founders. For more information on MedTech Color, visit medtechcolor.org.

APDI is one of five nonprofit consortia in the FDA’s Pediatric Device Consortia program that receives funding to provide a platform of services, expertise and grants to support pediatric innovators in bringing medical devices to the market that address the needs of children. Along with Children’s National, APDI members include Johns Hopkins University, CIMIT at Mass General Brigham, Tufts Medical Center, Medstar Health Research Institute, OrthoPediatrics Corp. and MedTech Color. 

Advancements in pediatric medical devices continue to lag significantly behind those of adults, which is why APDI is focused on helping more pediatric medical device innovations achieve commercialization. For more information on APDI, visit innovate4kids.org

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About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., was established in 1870 to help every child grow up stronger. Today, it is the No. 5 children’s hospital in the nation and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus opened in 2021, a first-of-its-kind pediatric hub dedicated to developing new and better ways to care for kids. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row 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 care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. 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. As a nonprofit, Children's National relies on generous donors to help ensure that every child receives the care they need.

Media Contacts:  Cherri Carbonara | 713-524-8170 | cherri@carbonaragroup.com

   Jhanae Kelley | 713-524-8170 |  jhanae@carbonaragroup.com



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Schedule27 May 2024