MIT linQ announces 2018 class of IDEA² Global

14 international teams developing new biomedical technologies

  • Teams win 7-month innovation training and project mentoring from innovators at MIT and other world-class institutions
  • New technologies for a range of unmet medical needs, including veterans’ hearing loss, cancer screening, and obesity
  • Reach grows to include teams from Ireland and Tunisia

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, 31 MAY 2018—MIT linQ, an international biomedical technology innovation consortium based in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences (MIT IMES), introduced the 14 teams admitted to IDEA² Global 2018. The 7-month program provides intensive innovation method training, collaborative project development, team-specific mentoring, and expertise to help projects move from novel ideas toward real-world application.

“These very competitive teams address an exciting range of unmet medical needs with their new technologies,” said Dr Mercedes Balcells-Camps, Program Chair of IDEA² Global and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT. “And we’re thrilled that this year to welcome our first teams from Ireland and Tunisia, so we have teams from four continents in this cohort.”

Proposals to IDEA² Global were invited from anywhere in the world and are sponsored by several organizations dedicated to biomedical technology innovation. Project sponsors include Fundación para la Innovación y la Prospectiva en Salud en España (FIPSE, a Spain-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing new healthcare technologies), the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), MassBIO, Cantabria Labs (a Spain-based pharmaceutical R&D company), the Medicine Innovation Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and MIT Hacking Medicine.

The projects selected for 2018 included are:

  • A new strategy to fight against viral retrotranscription—A project proposing to interrupt the development cycle of pathogenic viruses such as HIV or Herpes
  • Ear Level Activity Tracking/Falls Detection and Prevention—A project to identify and test a minimal viable product that integrates sensor technology for activity tracking and falls detection/prevention with a hearing aid
  • Open Retinoscope—A new smartphone-enabled device for eye exams that can screen for diabetic retinopathy and other high-prevalent pathologies
  • Circulating tumor cells nanoplasmonic biosensor (CTCnanoSen)—A new device to detect early metastasis of cancer in patients’ blood
  • COVERGEL Project—A family of medical devices for gastrointestinal endoscopy to perform bioactive treatments and prevent adverse events after endoscopy
  • “PEPSTOB” (Peptide to stop obesity)—Developing a medication to reduce lipid accumulation in tissues and organs to treat conditions like obesity and heptatic steatosis, with an additional cosmetic application
  • Paciena Prosthesis—Developing a new prosthesis to be used as an intraneovaginal mold after neovagina surgery
  • Creating a Patient-Centered Smartphone or Computer Application for Cirrhosis Management—A new system to manage outpatient care and reduce the need for hospital readmission after treatment
  • Translational Neuroscience Center—A new hospital-based program to improve the efficiency of translation of novel ideas into practical tools for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of brain disorders
  • Integrating the tools of genomics and neuroscience to reveal causes of neuropsychiatric disorders—A new research initiative to transform psychiatric drug discovery, addressing the growing need to treat mental illnesses
  • Tex Phototherapy—A wearable technology to treat neonatal jaundice
  • Galenband—A portable, non-invasive heart rhythm monitor to detect intermittent hear arrhythmia systems
  • Bloomer Tech—Transforming everyday fabrics into tools for personalized healthcare detection, monitoring, and treatment of chronic diseases
  • AugGi—Developing a mobile app to help patients with digestive disorders take objective measures of their stool characteristics

The teams were selected competitively based on their potential for impact and readiness for additional support. Through group innovation training and individualized mentorship and advising, the teams will refine their research and development strategy to heighten the opportunity to healthcare impact.

The teams will meet at MIT in early June for an initial workshop to sharpen the focus on the medical need they intend to address. They will then be matched with project mentors and subject and technology experts to help them develop their project over the summer. In October, the teams will meet again in a workshop to refine their project definition. Finally, in December they will gather to make their final pitches to a panel of judges, who will name the best projects.

Team members look forward to the training and guidance they will get to advance their projects. Florencio Gonzalez Marquez, member of Open Retinoscope, said “We believe that our idea could mean a significant improvement in the medical care provided to ophthalmological patients. We hope IDEA² will show us the strengths and weaknesses of our project, advise us on how to improve it, and give us tools to [promote it to] companies in the sector that might be interested in the commercializing the device.”

About IDEA² Global
IDEA² Global provides mentoring and connections to biomedical innovators around the world to develop their project ideas and to provide the expertise to realize them. It is especially valuable for trainees, early-stage professionals, and those who have few opportunities in their normal work to participate in innovation projects. More at

About MIT linQ
MIT linQ is an initiative based in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences (MIT IMES) to develop a new paradigm for biomedical technology innovation. MIT linQ, part of the MIT Innovation Initiative, unifies a portfolio of international innovation programs focused on improving healthcare through need-driven, interdisciplinary research and training. For more information, visit