These 3 Johns Hopkins research teams have secured seed funding to develop their medical devices

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With the Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine provides seed funding to three teams of researchers creating innovative medical devices.

Each of these devices, which are being developed by Hopkins professors and fellows, aims to dramatically reduce hospital costs and improve patient care by eliminating anesthesia from the equation. Recipients received between $25,000 and $100,000 to carry out their work for up to nine months.

Of the 14 applications submitted for funding, only five finalists were selected to present their work at the end of January to an external panel of researchers, scientists and investors. Of these five, only the three below were chosen.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Bisciotti Foundation, the investment committee was able to fund three projects that could have a significant impact on clinical practice and patient care,” said Brian StanskyDirector of FastForward from Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) accelerator, which helps university founders commercialize their technologies, in a statement. “We are excited about these opportunities and look forward to working with faculty members on their funded projects and longer-term commercialization efforts. »

Have an idea for innovative technology and are looking for similar support within the Johns Hopkins network? Applications are open until early April for the Louis B. Thalheimer Fund for Translational Research fund, which offers the same amount of $25,000 to $100,000 per project over nine months.

Meet the three award winners:

AI for strep throat screening

Hopkins Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Therese Canares is the founder of 2022 RealLIST Startups honorable mention CurieDx. The winner of JHTV Throw it at the competition manufactures virtual diagnostic technology using AI and a phone’s camera to provide “instant diagnosis” of common diseases.

The Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund pitch focused on improving the AI ​​algorithm’s ability to distinguish strep from a regular sore throat, while trying to minimize bias by taking race into account , gender, ethnic origin and age. Canares and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Mathias Unberath will use the funding to improve the accuracy of the technology and develop a prototype patient-user interface.

Dr. Therese Canares presenting CurieDx at JHTV’s Pitch It On contest in October 2021. (Photo via Twitter)

Ultrasounds without anesthesia

Ethan Tumarkina Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute comrade, works on a device that gives an ultrasound of the heart without requiring anesthesia. The typical cardiac ultrasound sends a probe into the esophagus and requires anesthesia, which opens up complications due to possible reactions to anesthetic drugs. Tumarkin wants to send the probe through the nose instead. He theorizes that this change will increase the availability of the procedure and decrease the cost.

With the funding, Tumarkin and its research partner David Armstrongcardiovascular clinical fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Centerare seeking patents for their technology, as they have performed proof-of-concept experiments and developed prototypes.

Home Feeding Tube Replacements

Clifford Weissmedical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, creates a feeding tube that can be replaced at home rather than in the hospital. The innovation is a device with a “durable outer sheath and replaceable inner feeding tube”. As with the other award-winning devices, replacement would not require anesthesia.

Weiss develops the device with a radiology professor Christopher Bailey and medical student and biomedical engineer Aryaman Gupta. He expects the funding to be to develop a prototype and validate the technology as the team begins the long process of obtaining FDA approval.


Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-
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