03 Jun 2020

Medical Innovation Fellows score second win

Western Medical Innovation Fellows Bashar Yafouz, Wagner H. Souza, and Maryam Majedi participated in the 2020 DMC Assistive Tech Challenge Virtual Pitch Competition and came in second place, winning a $2500 award. This win follows their first place achievement in the Proteus Innovation Competition where the team won $5000 for developing an abstract, business plan and pitch for a flexible pressure sensor technology. Their plan for Proteus proposed using the cost-effective sensor to create insole gait monitors for shoes that could be used to help people who experience mobility problems.

The Assistive Tech Challenge is hosted by the Destination Medical Center based in Rochester, Minnesota and aims to seek solutions related to independent living, access to employment, support care providers, social skills development and improved public infrastructure to aid people with disabilities. There were a total of 10 teams participating in this year’s competition.

For this pitch competition the team proposed a smart rollator walker that addresses the high incident rate of falls among walker users. The walker provides 360 degree of protection featuring sensors for balance instability, physical endurance and collision detection all tracked by an application running on smartphones. The device also tracks information on gait performance, which can be accessed later by users or clinicians.

“Our technology is meant to provide assistance and increase mobility, the main focuses of that competition, which is promoted by a very respected center in the field of rehabilitation with connections with the Mayo Clinic” said Maryam Majedi when asked why her team chose to participate in the pitch competition.

The team believed the training they received through their fellowship, including developing solutions, realistic business plans, reliable market size analysis and learning to present in a business setting helped lead them to their win.

This is also the last competition the team will participate in as they have finished their fellowship and have started to pursue their own career paths.

You can watch the pitch competition below.

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