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11 Projects Receive Penn Health-Tech Funding

| By Hannah Spector

Philadelphia, July 23, 2021— Penn Health-Tech, the medical device and health technology center for the University of Pennsylvania, revealed its newest cohort taking part in its accelerator program. 

“We are excited to support these outstanding interdisciplinary teams tackling important unmet clinical needs through novel technologies and innovative approaches,” said Dr. Katherine Reuther, Executive Director of Penn Health-Tech. “PHT and our accelerator program will provide expert commercialization guidance and funding to bring these solutions towards market, with the ultimate goal of benefiting human health and society.”

Since its inception in 2017, Penn Health-Tech has provided over $1.5 million in funding to over 45 project teams and early-stage startups. Its revamped Health Tech Accelerator program provides dedicated pilot funding and project support for early-stage technology development and commercialization to faculty and staff from the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Medicine, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

The program is co-sponsored by Penn Health-Tech and the Acceleration Lab at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Participating teams receive:

  • Pilot Funding, up to $50K1
  • Hands-on advising, project management, and educational workshops to support development as well as technical and commercial de-risking
  • Access to industry experts and complementary programs to assist with engineering, design, manufacturing, and regulatory

“With support and mentorship from the Health Tech Accelerator, we are excited to further develop our technology and achieve business and regulatory milestones in medical device commercialization,” says Jun Beom Pyo from the project Smart Band-Aid.

The Penn Health-Tech Call for Proposals also included the option to apply for the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry-sponsored Innovation in Dental Medicine and Engineering to Advance Oral Health (IDEA) prize to advance oral health care innovation.

Selection for the 2021-22 cohort was highly competitive. Of the 83 submissions received, 11 projects have been selected.

ALFA (A Lung for All) Ventilator: Cost-efficient and compact novel mechanical ventilator for emergency and low-resource settings
Todd Kilbaugh, MD2
Jeremy Zuckerberg, MD
Mohammed Shaik, MD, Ph.D.
Timothy Nelin, MD
Keith Widmeier, BA, NEP, FP-C, CHSE

Altaios: Urine-based device that replaces blood tests needed during pregnancy
Ankita Brahmaroutu, MD2
Efe Cudjoe, MD
Suri Brahmaroutu
Rebecca Anastos-Wallen, MD

BABY SEAL: Bottle-feeding for infants with cleft palate
Eugene Ko, DDS2
Shu Yang, Ph.D.2
Mingtao Chen

Developing CAR T cells: A microfluidic device to optimize CAR T cell generation
Saba Ghassemi, Ph.D.2
Roddy O'Connor, Ph.D. 

Eye-V Ultrasound: Handheld ultrasound probe to improve technical accuracy
Shariq Raza, MD2

Hemostatic chest tube: A chest tube that can treat its own bleeding complications
William J. Vernick, MD2
Jacob Gutsche, MD
Jason Han, MD

Low-cost diagnostic platform: For COVID-19 and other emerging pathogens
Cesar de la Fuente, Ph.D.​​​​​​​2

Needle-Free Injector: Precise needle-free drug delivery system with improved dispersion
Daniel Mazzaferro, MD, MBA​​​​​​​2
Scott Bartlett, MD

Smart Feeding Tube: To reduce complications associated with tube misplacement into the airway
Barry Fuchs, MD, MS​​​​​​​2
Marek Swoboda, Ph.D.
Michal Swoboda

Smart Band-Aid: Wound infection management hindering bacterial growth and disrupting biofilms
Mark Allen, Ph.D.​​​​​​​2
Junn Beom Pyo
Iris Lee
Joe Kim, Ph.D.

Vasowatch: Wearable device for early postpartum hemorrhage detection
James Weimer, Ph.D.​​​​​​​2
Stefanie Modri MSN, RN, C-MNN​​​​​​​2
Kim Trout, PhD, CNM
Maggie Power MSN, CNM, WHNP

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​1 Milestone-based, 2Denotes Principal Investigator and/or Team Lead

Contact Information:
Phone: 215-573-3174

Release date: 
For immediate release


​​​​​​​About Penn Health-Tech
The Penn Center for Health, Devices and Technology (Penn Health-Tech) is an interdisciplinary, cross-campus initiative to advance world-class breakthroughs in novel devices and health technologies to solve unmet healthcare needs and improve patient care. Penn Health-Tech fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation across the University among faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students.

About Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation
The Center for Health Care Innovation (CHCI) facilitates the rapid, disciplined development, testing, and implementation of new strategies to reimagine health care delivery for dramatically better patient outcomes, value, and experience.

About the Center for Innovation and Precision Dentistry
The CiPD leverages engineering and computational approaches to discover new knowledge for disease mitigation, develop affordable diagnostics and therapies, and train future leaders to advance oral & craniofacial health care.