Innovation mentorship program includes 15 international teams developing new biomedical technologies

  • Teams win 6-month innovation training and project mentoring from innovators at MIT and other world-class institutions
  • New technologies range from biomimetic materials for cardiac care to smart toilets for chronic disease management

BOSTON, 21 July 2016—MIT linQ, an international biomedical technology innovation consortium based in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute for Medical Engineering and Sciences (MIT IMES), announced today the first class of teams admitted to IDEA2 Global. The 6-month program provides intensive innovation method training, collaborative project development, and team-specific mentoring and expertise to help projects move from novel ideas toward real-world application.

“We’re thrilled to have such a strong lineup of teams for the first edition of IDEA2 Global,” said Mercedes Balcells-Camps, Program Chair of IDEA2 Global and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT. “The quality and range of ideas, and the people behind them, exemplify the creativity we need in biomedical technology innovation today.”

15 teams were admitted in to the inaugural class. Proposals to IDEA2 Global were invited from anywhere in the world. The program is supported by funding from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Spain, Fundación para la Innovación y la Prospectiva en Salud en España (FIPSE, a Spain-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing new healthcare technologies) and PDS, inc, a US-based IT services and innovation company.

The projects included are:

  • S-There: A technology to help toilets become smart-devices for monitoring health conditions.
  • UltraLymph: A new safe, portable cancer screening device.
  • Near Miss Health: A web-based app for tracking and analyzing healthcare safety incidents.
  • Pacifist: An unobtrusive intelligent baby monitor and pacifier.
  • SmartClot: A technology for mobile devices to monitor blood coagulation.
  • Endema: A wearable device to help patients comply with ambulation treatments.
  • Endovascular device for biomimetic aortic repair
  • MRI gel radioisotope medical imaging system
  • My Health Decision Tree: A system to help people understand and manage their care options for health conditions.
  • EpiDisease: A method and device kit for creating diagnosis and prognosis
  • Kit for PET guided biopsy
  • New technology platform for ultrasound-supported labor induction
  • ICU Rehab: A platform for inpatient neurocognitive stimulation
  • fProbes: Biocompatible transcortical probes to support pharmaceutical delivery
  • Absorbable Dural Anchor: A sealing system to mitigate physiological impact of dural punctures in anesthesia

Five teams emerged from medical hackathons—short, intense collaboration sessions, usually involving diverse groups of technologists, clinicians, and designers meeting for the first time to tackle medical challenges in creative ways. UltraLymph, Near Miss Health, and Endema were selected from MIT Hacking Medicine’s 2016 Grand Hack, and S-There and My Health Decision Tree were formed at Hacking Chronic Disease, held in Bilbao, Spain in May.

Medical hackathons often provide opportunities for breakthrough technology ideas worthy of further development. Adrian Gomez Campos, member of the S-There team, said “Hacking Chronic Disease provided us a space and a time to make headway on problems we were interested in. We think on hackathon as a pit-stop on a long journey to solve problems related to chronic disease and as a training session to prepare us for solving problems.”

Alex Krull of the UltraLymph team agreed. “The MIT Grand Hack was an amazing experience; it brought together a wide range of people from different disciplines with diverse ideas and experience. Our team coalesced around a common passion for innovation in the cancer diagnostics space, and our experience there has jumpstarted an exciting effort to develop a safe, portable cancer screening device,” he said. “We are thrilled to have been selected for MIT IDEA2 Global and are looking forward to the opportunity to move our idea closer to commercialization and real world impact.”

The Grand Hack, held in Boston, Massachusetts, and Bilbao’s Hacking Chronic Disease were both hosted by MIT Hacking Medicine. A student-led organization, MIT Hacking Medicine has held 47 events in cities around the world. Tatyana Gubin, Co-Director of Hacking Medicine, said “We’re excited to have three teams that were launched at our Grand Hack 2016 accepted into IDEA2 Global. It’s an incredible opportunity to foster the growth of these teams towards realizing their vision, and MIT Hacking Medicine is proud to work with and support IDEA2 Global in making this happen.”

“IDEA2 Global builds on what we started in Spain four years ago with IDEA2 Madrid,” said Ignacio Navarro Arrate, Commercial Project Manager at Siemens in Spain and a co-chair of the IDEA2 Global’s European division. “The new program, merged with IDEA2 at MIT and expanded to engage a global community, will make a big difference to people with great ideas who only need a boost to make them high-impact innovations.”

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. IDEA2 Global merges two precursor programs, IDEA2 HST (Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology) launched in 2007 to support HST graduate and medical students to define their thesis research, and IDEA2 Madrid, which was launched by Madrid’s regional government in 2012 to support emerging technology innovators.

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