MIT linQ announces 2021 class of IDEA²

11 international teams developing new biomedical technologies

  • Teams win 7-month innovation training and project mentoring from innovators at MIT and other leading institutions
  • New technologies for a range of unmet medical needs, including maternal and neonatal health, early detection of breast cancer, and kidney transplantation 
  • This year’s projects focus on women’s health and reaching historically underserved communities

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, 14 JUNE 2021—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 11 teams admitted to IDEA2 2021. The seven-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. 

“The COVID pandemic has revealed in stark detail where we need greater innovation in biomedical technology and health care, especially with regard to women’s health and the health of historically underserved communities,” said Dr Mercedes Balcells-Camps, Program Chair of IDEA2 and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT. “The response to our call for proposals shows the desire to solve these challenges is strong.”

Proposals to IDEA2 were invited from anywhere in the world and are sponsored by several organizations dedicated to biomedical technology innovation. Project sponsors include Miami Dade College, the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), MassBIO, the Medicine Innovation Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the International Mentoring Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education (IMFAHE), Boston Landing, and MIT Hacking Medicine. 

The projects selected for 2021 are: 

  • Genesis: Mobile app management of pre-eclampsia, which disproportionately affects African American women
  • Aqueous Joint: Engineering liposomes that lubricate knee joints to mitigate osteoarthritis
  • 3D Spinal implants—Autologous neural implants to aid recovery from spinal cord injuries
  • Bilifit—A safe and affordable home-based monitoring solution for neonatal jaundice
  • Fast 4T—A device for detecting thyroid problems in pregnancy 
  • INIA Biosciences—Developing a home-use device to maintain immune system balance and prevent kidney transplant rejection
  • Ion vs SARS-COV-2—Making a new low-cost air purification system to prevent disease transmission
  • Magic Rest—Designing a smart bed that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor and control sleep to improve its quality
  • Oncobiome—A new diagnostic method to detect breast cancer in feces samples
  • Footshot—A dermo-epidermal suspension spray device
  • TIPY—A smart pacifier to monitor a newborn’s vital signs

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 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. Due to continuing complications in travel, the edition will be held entirely online this year.

About IDEA2

IDEA² 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