12 teams developed diverse new healthcare technologies for depression, colon cancer, asthma, and other diseases and health risks
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS—MIT linQ, a health technology innovation initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recognized the 12 teams of 2019 IDEA2 Global, a six-month program to help biomedical innovators develop their ideas and identify strategies to realize them. IDEA2 Global is an international mentorship program that helps emerging healthtech innovators to drive their new technology ideas toward healthcare impact.
The teams, which hailed from the United States, Canada, Spain, and Chile, represented research in range of disease and innovation areas including liver disease, asthma, drug overdose, and depression, among others. They joined IDEA2 Global to gain expertise and resources in market and customer research, business strategy, and patient-focused innovation.
“We are very proud of the progress each team made toward technologies that can make healthcare impact,” said Dr Mercedes Balcells-Camps, Program Chair of IDEA2 Global and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT. “Working closely with our excellent mentors, they have refined their objectives and taken steps to de-risk their technology development. Whether they choose to commercialize their technology or continue developing it in the lab, they have strengthened plans for the future.”
Teams were recruited to the program in the spring and were matched with technical experts and mentors who helped them develop their technologies and ventures. Over the following six months, they meet with these people, and also received training in innovation methods and communication skills. The gathered a final time for a two-day concluding workshop to review progress and get final advice for future work.
Teams included in the 2019 cohort were:
- Astrodepressants: An effort to improve antidepressant response through a new neural target
- Biogelics: Developing a new material to improve osteoarthritis treatment
- EcoHydros: A new eDNA technique for monitoring aquatic biodiversity
- EPP Light Dosimeter: Designing digital biomarkers to help treat people suffering from severe light sensitivity
- HEALD: Developing a passive monitor technology to detect Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in liver disease patients
- Inhibitec Anticuerpos: Developing a new therapeutic for psoriatic arthritis
- ME Therapeutics: Improving colon cancer treatment through a novel two-pronged therapeutic strategy
- miR-Based Therapy: Pioneering new regenerative medicine techniques for Type 1 diabetes
- MODEL1: Designing a next-generation walker for those with mobility challenges at risk of falls
- N-Durer: Developing a wearable respiratory tracker to improve endurance training
- PAT-U-PAMI: Using microneedles for accurate and painless asthma treatment
- Script Health: A secure pharmacy service to provide easy, equitable access to life-saving medications
On the first day of the two-day closing workshop, a diverse panel representing medical, technical, and business expertise heard presentations and provided critical advice for further project development and derisking. The panel included Joel Weinstein, President, MAVEN Medical Device Strategies; Orhun Muratoglu, Director of the Harris Orthopaedic Laboratory, and Director of the Technology Implementation Research Center (TIRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital; Sheryl Greenberg, MIT Corporate Relations Program Director; Galed Hakim, MD, Director of International Healthcare Partnerships at Baptist Health International; and Frances Toneguzzo, Executive VP at Nantkwest, Inc.
The workshop also featured a panel discussion, “The Dos and Don’ts in Innovation,” which put a special focus on the transition from academic research into biomedical technology entrepreneurship. The panel was moderated by Shivang Dave, PhD, CEO and Cofounder of PlenOptika, and included Ana Maiques, CEO of Neuroelectrics; Irene Bosch, MPH, PhD, CEO and Founder, E25Bio; and Alex J. Ness, Founder and Executive Chairman, Welwaze.
This year, IDEA2 named Script Health the winning project for the IMES Award.
In the end, each team felt they had brought their technology closer to the possibility of patient impact. IDEA2 “helped us understand the business side of entrepreneurship,” said one team member. Teams appreciated the breadth and depth of support from their project mentor. Said another team member, “[Our] lead mentors are highly skilled, proactive, and really add value to the projects they mentored. …[They were] always offering help, contacts, feedback” and other valuable information.
IDEA2 Global, which is hosted by the MIT Institute for Medical and Engineering Sciences (IMES), was a collaboration with partners the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, MIT Hacking Medicine, The MGH Medical Innovation Program, and Boston Landing. Organizers plan to launch a new round of recruiting in spring 2020. To learn more about IDEA2 Global, please visit http://idea2.mit.edu or contact Mercedes Balcells at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MIT linQ
MIT linQ is a new collaborative initiative focused on increasing the potential of innovative research to benefit society and the economy. linQ’s portfolio of international innovation programs demonstrate a new paradigm for technology research and training. Learn more at http://linq.mit.edu