Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation goes to Capitol Hill!

Last week, the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation visited Capitol Hill to demonstrate the latest in pediatric surgery...
Researchers, faculty and staff of the Sheikh Zayed Institute
Researchers, faculty, and staff visited the Rayburn House Office Foyer for an event highlighting the latest in pediatric surgical technology. From 11am-2pm, staffers, congressman, and visitors were invited to stop by the stations to speak with experts about various instruments that are driving solutions for children’s health. Featured innovations:

•    Human Algometer: This device is considered a game changer in pain management for children. Built to “measure” pain, the algometer will be useful for nonverbal children and children who are not old enough to articulate the severity and location of their pain.

•    Medical Gaming Technology: Understanding and diagnosing complex pain through videogame-play is a novel technique that is a favorite among the children who use this form of physical therapy.

•    Stereoscopic Augmented Reality: Laparoscopic procedures are more common today than ever before. This augmented reality dramatically improves the expert’s view during surgery.

•  Digital Dysmorphology: This non-invasive assessment of Down Syndrome screening proves to be a quicker method of diagnoses.
•    3D Printing: This technology is where our surgeons and biomedical engineers meet. Engineers are able to print copies of a patient’s organs for the specialists
to practice on before the surgery.

The Institute was delighted to have the US Representative for Maryland's 7th Congressional District, Elijah Cummings. Mr. Cummings visited the laparoscopic and 3D printing tables.

Dr. Peter Kim, Vice President of the institute, was excited for this event on the Hill. “The Sheikh Zayed Institute is the innovative hub of the health system, and what a great way spread the word through show and tell.” Visitors were able to test out the technology at each table, and speak with those who brought it to life. 

To view more photos, visit our Facebook page.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Sheikh Zayed Institute is offering $250,000 to medical device companies that bring pediatric innovations to market

Thomson Reuter's medical technology digest Medical Device Daily featured the Sheikh Zayed Institute in today's volume. This issue announced the Institute's plans to award $250,000 to medical device companies whose goals are to bring pediatric innovations to market.

The award, part of the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering collaborative consortium, will give up to 5 projects $50,000 each to bring their technology to life.

Proposals should match the goal of the Sheikh Zayed Institute's and "address a significant yet unmet need within the pediatric population with a device that lends itself to commercialization." The Institute's Executive Director, Kolaleh Eskandanian noted in the article that the "ultimate goal for FDA and this consortia is to bring a product to market." Therefore, the proposals that will receive funding should seek to present new product concepts, not research.

This announcement is among the first to come out of the University of Maryland/Children's National Device Consortium.

For more information and ways to submit a proposal, visit http://www.innovate4kids.org/funding-opportunities/

Friday, December 20, 2013

Drs. Cleary and Peters travel to the UAE for TechQuest

Medical experts from the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System traveled to Abu Dhabi from December 15-19 to teach Emirati students about medical robotics. Craig Peters, MD, and Kevin Cleary, PhD, were part of the TECH QUEST program developed by the Advanced Technology Investment Company in Abu Dhabi. Dr. Peters and Dr. Cleary taught over 80 high school students how to build and program the Lego Mindstorms robotics hardware and software. The course was taught on the campus of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

“The course was a tremendous opportunity for us to educate the next generation of Emirati leaders about the potential of medical robotics”, said Dr. Peters, a urologist who leads the medical robotics program at Children’s National. “Hopefully we can interest more young people in careers in medicine and engineering”.

“I was impressed by the caliber of students who came to the course” said Dr. Cleary, the Technical Director of the Institute’s Bioengineering Initiative. “The students worked very hard and made great progress in a very short time”.

The medical robotics educational module was developed by Dr. Cleary and Dr. Peters with the assistance of Aseem Jain, an intern at Children’s from the Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The module consisted of two parts: a hardware module and a software module. The medical scenario was a 14 year old child with a mass in the kidney that needed a biopsy. To simulate the scenario, we used jello cups with a bean in the middle as a target. After the students built the robot hardware and programmed the software, there was a competition to see which group could come closest to targeting the bean with a thin wooden needle.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Children’s National innovators join new DC Innovation Corps

Investigators from the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System are part of the first cohort of the DC Innovation Corps (I-Corps), a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported program aimed at translating the region’s most promising medical research into successful startups and licensed technologies. 

The institute investigators comprise three of 21 teams of aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs from academic institutions in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. The DC I-Corps program is a seven week program hosted by the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Virginia Tech that will teach the innovators how to identify a product-market fit for their idea, and develop a scalable business model at the same time—an approach based on the Silicon Valley-style Lean Startup Model.

The Children’s National teams are each led by a Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Fellow in Pediatric Surgical Innovation, a hybrid medical and business fellowship at Children’s that is designed to engage young medical professionals in the full spectrum of creating innovative approaches in pediatrics. “The lean start up method focuses on product market fit and each team in the program consists of an entrepreneurial lead, a principal investigator and an industrial mentor. In the seven week duration of the program, the teams are required to conduct 100 interviews to tease out what really drives customer demand,” noted Floortje Blindenbach-Driessen who mentors the Robert Fellows and is also involved in the DC I-corps program.

“The DC Innovation Corps is a natural match for our young Sheikh Zayed Institute Robert Fellows,” said Peter Kim, MD, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute. “We anticipate great progress on the ideas put forth by our participating investigators.”

The three projects that will be part of the DC I-Corps program include:
  • ChronoKair: comprehensive healthcare smartphone/tablet application covering a patient's entire hospital course. Entrepreneurial Lead: Kelly Swords, MD, MPH, urologist and pediatric urology fellow and adjunct faculty, the George Washington University, and 2012 Robert Fellow.
  • Patient mounted CT/MRI-guided needle placement robot: small and lightweight robot for needle placement under CT/MRI-guidance for biopsy, ablation and therapeutic/contrast agent injection. Entrepreneurial Lead: Reza Seifabadi, PhD, a biomedical engineer with medical robotics and devices background and a 2013 Robert Fellow. 
  • Smartpupillometer: smart phone application for measuring pupil size and reactivity in different clinical settings. Entrepreneurial Lead: Mariana Mafra Junqueira, MD, anesthesiologist and pediatrician, and 2012 Robert Fellow  and Gabriela Calhoun, M.D., anesthesiologist, 2013 Robert Fellow.

Sheikh Zayed Institute leaders reflect on the program…

“It has been a very interesting experience and valuable learning opportunity to be able to share our thoughts and receive multiple inputs about our ideas is an enriching experience. It also helped us to understand our project beyond the scientific point of view and prepare ourselves for the next steps. It is a unique chance to add more knowledge and experience to our current training during the Robert Fellowship.”
- Gabriela Calhoun, Sheikh Zayed Institute

“As a Robert Fellow, I’ve been training at Children’s to become an entrepreneur and learning the startup process. The I-Corps is just exactly what I need. It is based on a Silicon Valley methodology called Lean startup that tries to minimize the risk of startups failures which is currently 75%! The whole idea is to get out of the building and talk to customers since all a company founder has is bunch of untested hypotheses. You start with the value propositions and who pays and cares about it – something that you may find out very late. Your progress is totally quantified through the notion of business model canvas and monitored by the teaching team through the fabulous Launchpad Central. I am fully confident that what I learn here is directly applicable to my Robert Fellowship project.”
- Reza Seifabadi, Sheikh Zayed Institute

DC I-Corps is a regional program designed to foster, grow, and nurture an innovation ecosystem in the nation's capital and the mid-Atlantic region. The program is sponsored by the NSF and is part of a national network of five regional nodes selected by the NSF to participate in the I-Corps program. This cohort began on October 7, 2013. Read more about the first cohort of the DC I-Corps or learn more about the DC I-Corps program

Monday, October 28, 2013

Khalifa University and Children's National collaborate on low-cost heart monitor for pregnant women

Dr. Ahsan Khandoker, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Khalifa University is working with the Sheikh Zayed Institute to develop a low-cost tool that could help pregnant women screen their unborn child's health, from the comfort of their home! The National, a major publication in the United Arab Emirates, posted two stories about the collaboration and research.

To read the entire article, visit The National's website.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sheikh Zayed Institute at Children’s National Receives FDA Grant To Form Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium

The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System has received a grant from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to form the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation.  The grant is for $700,000 for FY2013, as part of an anticipated five year award.

“This new consortium is an exciting, important advance in developing medical devices for children and toward fulfilling our vision of making pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain-free,” said Kurt Newman, MD, President and CEO of Children’s National Health System. “I congratulate Dr. Peter Kim and his colleagues in our Sheikh Zayed Institute on securing this prestigious, highly competitive award.” The National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI) will address four primary goals:
  • Provide a platform of experienced regulatory, business planning and device development services (such as intellectual property counsel, prototyping, engineering, laboratory and animal testing, grant writing, and clinical trial design) to foster the advancement of medical devices for pediatric patients
  • Bring together individuals and institutions that can support pediatric medical device progression through all stages of development—ideation, concept formation, prototyping, preclinical, clinical, manufacturing, marketing, and commercialization
  • Support a mix of projects at all stages of development, particularly the later stages of clinical, manufacturing, and marketing
  • Provide counsel on accessing various federal and non-federal funding resources while assessing the scientific and medical merit of proposed pediatric device projects
“We are excited to unite within this consortium the diverse strengths of our distinguished partners and collaborators, to bring important advances to medical devices for children,” said Peter Kim, MD, CM, PhD, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National. “In pediatrics, we know that children are not simply small adults, so the FDA’s support for this area of innovation is particularly important to address this critical but largely unmet need.” The NCC-PDI will be a collaboration of Children's National Health System with the University of Maryland A.  James Clark School of Engineering and its flagship institutes: Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) and Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech).

For-profit, academic, and medical association partners in the consortium include Arent Fox, Oblon Spivak, Medical Murray, Key Tech, Philips, Cook Medical, Medtronic, QUASAR, Root3 Labs, Weinberg Medical Physics, JustRight Surgical, Georgetown University Medical Center, The George Washington University School of Business and School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Mason University, Howard University College of Medicine, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins University, Sickkids Toronto, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, American University Kogod School of Business, National Institutes of Health/Clinical Center, Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), The World Federation of Associations of Pediatric Surgeons (WOFAPS), and American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA).

The grant was awarded by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development in its third round of funding since 2009 to consortia that advance the development of pediatric medical devices. The 2013 grants were awarded to consortia that brought together teams with excellence and expertise in delivering business, regulatory, legal, scientific, engineering, and clinical services for children. All consortia work collaboratively with the FDA to help innovators effectively navigate existing laws, regulations and agency guidance to protect the health and safety of children.

Released 9/26

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Children's National visits Abu Dhabi

Dr. Kurt Newman, H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, Mr. Jim Lintott

A team from the Sheikh Zayed Institute at Children’s National recently returned from a wonderful trip to Abu Dhabi! During the visit, our CEO Dr. Kurt Newman and our Chairman of the Board Mr. Jim Lintott had the privilege of meeting with His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, to discuss the importance of high quality pediatric care in Abu Dhabi. AMEInfo covered their visit, posted here.

The team was also honored and pleased to speak with the esteemed leaders and teams at Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC), Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED), Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), and Khalifa University, who all share a passion for educating our next generation and encouraging them to pursue careers in medicine and technology.
Dr. Peter Kim (r), Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute, and Dr. Kevin Cleary (l) met with Dr. Omar Shafey, an Acting Manager in the Public Health & Research Division at HAAD, during their recent visit to Abu Dhabi.

At Khalifa University, Dr. Kevin Cleary, Technical Director of Bioengineering at the Sheikh Zayed Institute, had the great opportunity to present before a class of biomedical engineering students. He talked about the importance of engineering to the medical field, and highlighted some of his specific areas of research in robotics, medical devices, and medical imaging. He showed video and photos of the Sheikh Zayed Institute’s state-of-the-art Pain Medicine Care Complex and talked about his work with the 3D printer. He also talked about ongoing research projects that the Sheikh Zayed Institute is conducting in partnership with Khalifa University - all with the goal of making pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain free. Several of the 2013 Student Innovators from Khalifa University were in attendance, and shared their personal experiences at the Sheikh Zayed Institute, and the hands-on research they were able to conduct during their summer internship. We hope their stories inspire even more students to join us from Khalifa University and across the UAE for next Summer’s program.

Dr. Kevin Cleary speaking with reporters in Abu Dhabi.
Following his presentation, Dr. Cleary sat down with two reporters to discuss the important role of robotics and engineering in the medical field as well as the shared vision between Children’s National and Khalifa University to train the UAE’s next generation of scientists, engineers, and physicians.