Seven innovative designs have been chosen as winners of the inaugural Kidney MedTech Competition in partnership with IN-PART. The winners received £25,000 in research funding after showing that their novel proposals had the potential to improve the outcomes for kidney disease patients or help prevent kidney disease.
“Medical technology is an increasingly growing sector which is offering exciting opportunities to improve outcomes for kidney patients. We were highly impressed by the number of innovations, ideas and technologies being proposed. The academy program is in itself an innovative approach that combines scientific potential with a commercial and business orientated structure,” said Marc Stowell executive director of development at Kidney Research UK.
“Unlike traditional grant models, the course takes participants through an introduction to innovation and start-ups all the way to pitching their MedTech project to prospective investors. It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with IN-PART’s Discover platform to find and fund new academic partners. We cannot wait to see where these projects will lead and the difference they will make. We are looking forward to running similar competitions in the future to find and nurture new innovative ideas.”
The projects funded by the charity vary in their fields and impact combining scientific expertise and engineering prowess. One team from the University of Leeds will be analysing routine blood tests using artificial intelligence to predict acute kidney injury with the hope of increasing early diagnosis.
Another team from University College London will develop two microsampling devices for blood and urine allowing patients to provide samples remotely, ensuring easier and more efficient monitoring of their kidney disease. A group of engineers at Edinburgh University will develop novel technology to recycle the water used during dialysis improving efficiency, sustainability and costs of the treatment, the success of which could also lead to the development of lightweight wearable artificial kidneys in the future.
Other projects included a non-invasive eye scanning technique, a quick dip stick monitoring test, bio-engineered dialysis lines for child patients as well as new ultrasound technology to create a liquid biopsy monitoring kidney health.
The competition, which received more than 25 individual applications, saw a diverse range of sectors including artificial intelligence, engineering, and wearable technology, all looking to help in the battle against kidney disease.
The kidney MedTech Competition was launched in November last year to accelerate the development and availability of transformational technologies addressing the crucial challenges of kidney disease. Applicants showed a diversity of ideas, the highest quality of innovation and clearly outlined the positive impacts their research could have on kidney patients.
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