28 Apr


WID-I4H 2014 Competitors (in alphabetical order):


Imagine children waiting calmly in a clinic to see a doctor. A humanoid robot is engaging them in play, monitoring their vital signs, and educating them about health. Also envision children learning how to control their breathing and turn their attention away from a needle. In fact, we have empirical evidence that MEDi™ relieves children’s pain and anxiety during medical procedures (Beran et al., 2013). Children can now leave the clinic with a sense of mastery – even remembering their visit as enjoyable. Affectionately named MEDi™, it can be adapted for use in most clinics for a variety of medical procedures. We have developed apps, called MEDiKits, consisting of interactive robotic behaviors that MEDi™ performs to coach children through painful medical procedures, educate children about health, and entertain families while waiting for appointments. The application of humanoid robots in pediatric health is a cutting edge, interdisciplinary approach that will revolutionize healthcare.
  At Orpyx®, it is our mission to innovate the most accessible and beneficial sensor-based technologies and sensory substitution systems to enable and empower consumers to actively monitor pressure to avoid unnecessary interventions and improve overall quality of life. Orpyx® looks to the next five years with the objective of becoming the world leader in innovating and developing wearable sensor-based technologies and sensory substitution systems that provide consumers with quality solutions to better cope with disease and improve overall quality of life. Watch video@orpyxinc
  SnapDx adapts best-practice guidelines for practical application at the point-of-care in order to improve guideline uptake and quality of care. SnapDx consists of a group of Calgary researchers, clinicians, designers, and engineers working to make guidelines more easily accessible to practitioners and patients through interactive visual apps. For more information, visit www.snapdx.co@snap_dx

Hong Kong


38% of the world has some degree of hearing loss. ACEHearing addresses the root causes with a simple and elegant approach – by turning everyday consumer electronics into devices that can accurately evaluate each person’s hearing ability, and then calibrate for the best fit audio accordingly. ACE Communications aims to make a sound difference to the individual hearing experience of people everywhere and become the global gold standard technology for adoption of individualized sound output. ACEHearing is in an advanced development stage, working with consumer electronics manufacturers to integrate our invention with their future products. ACEHearing can be understood in two major parts: hearing assessment and audio correction. For hearing assessment, the goal is to design a hearing test that is easy enough for self administration yet as accurate and reliable as a professional one. The average person would be able to complete the test unassisted within a minute. The Wall Street Journal and Credit Suisse chose ACEHearing as a winner in the prestigious Asian Innovation Awards. ACEHearing was also a Top Finalist in the Heritage Open mHealth Challenge. @ACEHEARING


Dr. Li and his team have developed a biodegradable drug-loaded weft-knitted stent for the treatment of colorectal cancer that is based on a non-invasive treatment without open surgery for the patients. Biomedical textiles have demonstrated their competitiveness and great potential in the field of biomedical and healthcare including implantable devices, body-worn medical devices and wearable electronics. Textile Bioengineering Research Center (TBRC), in the Institute of Textiles and Clothing of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is a unique multi-disciplinary educational and research organization specialized in engineering textile devices using integrative approaches to meet the biomedical and healthcare needs, so as to promote industry-university cooperation and accelerate technology transfer. Dr. Yi Li is a full professor and director of TBRC. Prof. Li’s team has over 500 scientific publications and more than 70 patents and 50 awards. Prof. Li also serves as research committee member of AATCC and ASTM.

  The award winning Instant Vision Assessment Device (IVAD) is a subjective refraction system. It quickly, accurately and reliably measures refractive errors and anyone can use it with just a short period of training. The World Health Organization’s Vision 2020 initiative inspired Professor George Woo and his team at the School of Optometry to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. Uncorrected refractive errors, according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has been a major cause of avoidable blindness. Knowing that many people in developing countries suffer needlessly from impaired vision because of poor access to professional optometrists or ophthalmologists, the team came up with a low-cost, portable solution that is easy to use by trained health or outreach workers.
  The project team VRmOT (Virtual Reality meets Occupation Therapy) is a perfect match for synergizing experts from occupational therapy and virtual reality. Dr. Thomas Choi, Director of the Centre for Smart Health, School of Nursing, PolyU, has over 15 years of R&D experience in virtual reality for medicine and healthcare. Mr. Danny Lo, with 30 years of solid and practical experience in occupational therapy, is the Head of the Department of Occupational Therapy, HK Red Cross Princess Alexandra School, the largest school for physically handicapped children in HK. VRmOT endeavours to create innovations to directly benefit the needy. Since meeting 8 years ago, the team has sparked many novel ideas to meet the special needs of children with physical disabilities by enhancing occupational therapy by applying virtual reality, interactive computer graphics and haptics. The project to be presented at the WID-I4H competition particularly focuses on the development of an innovative virtual reality training system to assist children with hand impairment to adapt to their disability and live their lives independently.

South Africa

  There is an acute shortage of human capital in many healthcare systems with the highest disease burdens in the world. This is particularly evident in Africa. In Africa, around 40% of all medical equipment lies unused due to the shortage of trained equipment operators and technicians. Looksee.do is a proudly African company which seeks to ease this crisis by enabling highly trained and scarce resources to reach further and travel less. In particular, we overcome challenges such as poor telecommunications infrastructure to provide remote maintenance and training solutions to some of the most inaccessible places on earth.  In addition to improving the up time of life saving medical equipment, our solutions empower the users of this equipment, create jobs and training opportunities for the local communities, lower the cost of ownership of high tech equipment, and decrease the skills shortage burden on the Healthcare systems. Watch video@looksee_do
VeinAIDTM is a hand-held portable device designed to locate a healthy vein and determine its midpoint co-ordinates.  This information is used to precisely insert the needle in to the vein thereby significantly improving first time accurate insertion. Watch video@MedAssisTech


  KiOP: manipulating images with hand gestures in sterile environments. An increasing number of image-guided procedures require images to be displayed and manipulated in operating rooms (OR). To do so, surgeons need pointing devices that can be used in a sterile environment. We therefore elected to develop a system (KiOP) based on the Kinect system from Microsoft that allows for remote image manipulation with hand waving gestures. A dedicated software allows for image manipulation of very limited hand motion gestures, avoiding large gestures that could compromise sterility. A first prototype was developed on Windows operating system and a second version as a “Plugin” for our OsiriX Open-Source imaging platform. The KiOP system was implemented in ORs equipped with wall-mounted display monitors allowing surgeons to remotely select and manipulate images by simple gestures performed in a very limited space. A prospective study is underway to evaluate the impact and benefit of this innovative system over conventional imaging workstations. Video clips illustrating the use of the KiOP system in operating rooms are available at the following addresses: video clip 1 and video clip 2. To download the KiOP plugin for OsiriX, click here.
  Despite decades of efforts to promote cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) science and education, management of airways during CPR of cardiac arrests remains unclear, thus contributing to poor survival rates. The place for ventilation in the history of CPR has never been fully understood. Ventilation is required to maintain gaz exchanges during CPR. We specifically designed a CPR Test Lung (POUTAC) to describe what happens in terms of cardiac and lungs interactions during CPR. Applications concern research on this field and education since CPR training programs and workshops with dedicated mannequins is today recognized world wide as a high top priority to improve CPR. Our original CPT test lung is now available as a miniaturized prototype that could be integrated into mannequins. This is a promising new step. Indeed, the currently available mannequins do not permit to simulate ventilation during CPR, while it is definitively a key point that should be urgently considered.
  Incorporated in 2010, Stemergie is a spin-off company from the Geneva University Hospital (HUG) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE). Stemergie develops treatments and diagnostics for cancers by targeting cancer-initiating cells (CIC), the roots of cancer. Stemergie has identified and validated molecules that specifically eradicate brain CICs while having a low effect on cancer cells or normal brain cells. Stemergie’s effective treatments targeting the roots of cancer in combination with the current standard treatments have a high potential to increase the survival rate of the brain tumor patient. Stemergie’s CIC based technology allows the identification, validation and development of treatments against brain CICs. With its proprietary methodology, Stemergie is able to identify, isolate and enrich CICs independently of any marker. Stemergie will apply this technology to other types of CICs to treat and diagnose colon cancers and other oncological diseases.