Member Announcements

ANNOUNCEMENT OF 2015 AWARD WINNERS First Annual MDDC Awards for Excellence in Biomedical Engineering

May 11, 2015 – MDDC – Medical Devices & Development Centre

Student Design & Innovation 2015 Award Winners
The MDDC Medical Device Development Centre of British Columbia (‘the MDDC’) is pleased to announce the 2015 winners of MDDC Student Awards. These Awards were established to encourage and recognize student innovators in technologies relating to medicine and health care, including medical devices, systems, software, apps and assistive technologies.

The MDDC is a non-profit British Columbia society whose mandate is to advance the collaborative development, evaluation and commercialization of need-oriented medical technology. Over its 25-year history of successful, self-funded operation it has achieved an enviable track record of fulfilling this mandate. In sponsoring these awards for innovation, the MDDC’s specific goal is to discover and honour B.C.’s best and brightest young innovators in the field of medical technologies and biomedical engineering, and to encourage them to pursue their innovations in a rewarding and fulfilling field and career.

Nineteen submissions of exceptional quality were received from student teams this year. In evaluating submissions and demonstrations from finalists, five criteria were used by the Selection Committee of the MDDC Board: 1) Need being addressed in the project (e.g. biomedical, human, healthcare); 2) Level of student achievement in creating the innovation; 3) Uniqueness and originality; 4) Stage of development of the project; and 5) Projected biomedical, economic and social impacts. This year’s award winners are listed below. Each winning team received an MDDC Award Certificate of Excellence and a cash prize.

Principal Award ($5,000): “Streamline”
Streamline is an in-line, non-contact urine output measurement device intended to automatically collect urine output data in real time and deliver it directly to a hospital Electronic Medical Record. Future directions for the product include the addition of some basic urinalysis to provide immediate detection of possible urinary tract problems, such as blood in the urine.
Student Team: Dan Millar, Michael Halpenny, Ido Refaeli, Kinsey Powell Affiliation: UBC Engineering and New Venture Design Program
Comments: This project was rated highly by the judges because the multi-disciplinary team consulted with end users to understand the problem, designed and prototyped a proof-of-concept prototype, has an interesting plan for future development and has a reasonable chance of making this a viable product.

Award of Distinction ($2,500): “Hybrid Windowing Plug-In for CT Scan”

The Hybrid Windowing Plug-in for CT Scan project addresses a challenge faced by clinicians reviewing CT scan images. Current CT image technology provides three different sets of images, optimized for view lung tissue, bone or soft tissue – which requires the clinician to view three sets of images to get a full understanding of the data. The CT Scan Windowing Software integrates these three data sets into one view so that all the information is presented in a single image, greatly simplifying the review process.
Student Team: Johnny Lewis, Riza Kazemi, Sibo Gao
Affiliation: UBC Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
Comments: This project was rated highly by the judges because the small development team started with a real-world problem brought forward by clinicians and involved the clinicians in regular reviews throughout the development process. This ensured that the end result provided real value to the clinicians. The results of this project show a high potential for becoming a regular part of the review of CT scans.

Innovation Award ($1,000): “iMowse”
iMowse is a computer mouse activated by eye motions, intended for use by severely handicapped users who have lost all voluntary movement (including speech) as may occur in the late stages of motor neuron disease (ALS). The iMowse device is unique in that is uses the electrical field inherent in the eye as a signal source – a technique known as EOG (Electro-oculography). The device prototype provides basic mouse movement and click functions and could be extended to provide further actions as well.
Student Team: Taehyum Kim, Alex Chan
Affiliation: BCIT Biomedical Engineering Technology
Comments: The judges were impressed with the degree of completion of the prototype in a very short period and with the application of a new and untried technique for quantization of eye movements. The originality of the work and the degree of completion is exemplary.

Innovation Award ($1,000): “Reveal”

Reveal is a wearable sensor array intended to detect precursors to ‘meltdown’ in autistic children. Detection in advance will permit parents to take steps to prevent or mitigate meltdown behaviours. The sensor array is uniquely deployed as a sock, which promises to be unobtrusive and unlikely to be lost or unused.
Student Team: Andrea Palmer, Kristoffer Vik Hansen
Affiliation: Awake Labs and UBC Mechanical Engineering
Comments: The judges were impressed with the multi-disciplinary team and the excellent presentation and business focus of the project. The team seems to have the focus, skills and motivation to turn the project into a commercially viable product.