Gold University of Minnesota M. Skip to main content. University of Minnesota.
Driven to Discover.

Emerging Medical Innovation Valuation Competition

Recorded June 2, 2020, 9:30-11:00am CDT
No Registration Required

Organizers: Mike Finch, Children’s of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics
Randy Nelson, Evergreen Medical Technologies, Inc.

Session Abstract:

This competition is a way for researchers and inventors to get immediate feedback about their projects from leaders in medical technology research, engineering & development. The top presenters will be awarded a full valuation from the UMN’s Medical Industry Valuation Laboratory, (regular fee for this service is $15,000). More information on the Medical Industry Valuation Laboratory and the service can be found here.

Winning Presentation: "Benegraft"
Sabin Karki, Johns Hopkins University

"Prosthetic Sock Management Tool (PSMT)"
Billie Savvas Slater, Innovation Specialist/Health Science Specialist, Minneapolis VA Health Care System

"Teleoperator for In-Bore MRI-Guided Biopsies"
Samuel Frishman, PhD Candidate, Stanford University

"Cervical Stabilization Device (CSD)"
Julie Causey & Benjamin Booher, ViaTechMD, LLC

Underlined titles below are links to online videos. The entire playlist can be found on our DMD YouTube Playlist.

Speaker Bios:

Billie Savvas Slater, MAEd Innovation Specialist/Health Science Specialist, Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Ms. Slater is a Health Science Specialist and is the Innovation Specialist for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physiology from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas. A Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, she is a member of the Minneapolis Adaptive Design & Engineering Program and has more than 16 years of experience in the conduct of basic science and human subjects research. She has a keen interest in the conduct of research and the dissemination of research findings. Ms. Slater is the recipient of three VA-VHA Innovators Network awards.

Samuel Frishman, PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Samuel Frishman is a PhD candidate in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University. He received his MS degree in mechanical engineering at Stanford University in 2017 and his BS degree in mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2015. His research interests include medical devices, soft robotics, and haptics.

Julie Causey, Company Member & Executive Vice President, ViaTechMD, LLC
Julie Causey is Chairman emeritus of Western Bank and on the Board of Directors of Fairview Health Services and the Board of Trustees of Minnesota Public Radio. Through 2015, Julie served as Executive Chairman of the $550MM Western Bank with accountability for profitability, strategy, asset quality, capital adequacy, and risk management. She led the successful sale of the 100-year-old bank in 2012 and then continued to lead the bank for 2+ years including serving on the Board of Directors of the $3B acquiring bank. Julie served on the Board of Directors of the $30B Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Board of Trustees of Colby College, and the Board of Directors and as Audit and Finance Committee Chair for the HealthEast Care System. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Colby and an M.B.A. in Finance from Wharton. By way of her deep understanding of M&A, growth and innovation in the banking and healthcare industries, Julie brings unique experience, insight and strategic focusto ViaTechMD.

Sabin Karki, Johns Hopkins University
Sabin Karki is a senior biomedical engineering student at Johns Hopkins University passionate about the intersection of clinical medicine, health policy, and engineering. His previous experience includes working in the Clinical Engineering group at surgical robotics firm Auris Health and working to develop regenerative tissue grafts at startup Biorez.

Presentation Abstracts:

"Prosthetic Sock Management Tool (PSMT)"
An educational system that clinicians will use to help people who use prosthetic socks with their prostheses, to:

  1. Learn to effectively don and doff sock ply, as needed
  2. Create new habits regarding the performance of >comfort & fit checks throughout the day
  3. Properly launder their prosthetic socks

"Teleoperator for In-Bore MRI-Guided Biopsies"
We present a device that enables remote access inside an MRI machine and allows physicians to perform tissue biopsies with live MRI guidance. The device has been tested in a clinical setting with tissue phantoms and demonstrates reduced procedural duration and improved needle placement accuracy. The system is passive and controlled entirely by the physician’s motions through a novel, low friction hydrostatic transmission. Passivity provides inherent safety and a relatively low cost solution. Our initial application is liver biopsy, however, the technology has potential to become the gold standard biopsy system for multiple organs.

Cervical Stabilization Device (CSD)
CSD promises a non-invasive and medication free device-based treatment for a wide range of conditions known to contribute to Preterm Birth. ViaTechMD’s Cervical Stabilization Device (CSD) is a breakthrough medical device treatment in prevention of Preterm Birth (PTB). PTB is the leading cause of infant death and morbidity within the first month of life, involving 1 in every 10 pregnancies. Each day, nearly 3,000 babies die as a result of PTB. The biological function of the CSD is supported by latest scientific research and discovery and offers treatment for a wide range of conditions known to contribute to PTB, including: Cervical incompetence Multiple fetus pregnancies Organ and tissue compromise Late-in-life pregnancies Accelerated effacement and dilation.

Benegraft is an early-stage company developing a breakthrough graft processing platform for the reconstructive surgery market with an initial focus on diced cartilage grafts in rhinoplasties. Our device, the Benegraft Rapid Dicer, is an off-the-shelf disposable instrument enabling plastic surgeons to quickly dice cartilage from patients without wasting tissue or jeopardizing cell viability to create better grafts for nasal reconstruction.

Related Sessions:

Three-in-Five Competition
Student Showcase


Stay connected with the DMD Conference through LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube