Sisu Global Health Wins the First Mile Innovation Challenge

Monday, May 1, 2017 General News
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BENGALURU and BOSTON, May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts

General Hospital's (MGH) Global Health and  GE Healthcare Sustainable Healthcare Solutions (SHS) are pleased to announce Sisu Global Health as the winner of the First Mile Innovation Challenge, a global call for innovative solutions
that directly address clinical or community hardships in primary healthcare. The initiative crowd sourced ideas would impact communities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) with a focus on maternal and child health, cardiac health and safe surgery.  

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Sisu Global Health, a medical device company developing a low-cost auto-transfusion device called Hemafuse, won the $25,000 award. The handheld, mechanical tool helps to recover patient blood loss during surgery and other emergency situations, as well as replaces the need for donor blood. Hemafuse works like a syringe, pulling a patient's blood through a filter and transferring it back to a blood bag to be recycled - addressing the critical need of blood shortage in LMICs.

"We envision a world where medical technology enables access to healthcare for each person in their own community," said Carolyn Yarina, CEO at Sisu Global Health. "Winning the First Mile Innovation Challenge offers our team access to valuable mentorship, resources and relationships with key stakeholders that will be critical in order for us to propel Hemafuse toward commercialization."

The female-led team has conducted usability studies in three countries, performed a clinical pilot in Ethiopia and is currently in the process of securing regulatory approval in Ghana and is expecting to begin sales in late 2017.

"Hemafuse has the potential to impact millions of lives and we plan to use this award for the first small-scale commercial launch of Hemafuse in Sub-Saharan Africa," said Yarina.

In addition to funding, the team will receive resources to support their innovation through the CAMTech Innovation Platform and introductions to GE's new five.eight Accelerator. CAMTech and GE announced the awards as a follow-up opportunity to the First Mile Discovery Challenge, which identified the most pressing, unmet clinical needs in primary healthcare and awarded ten $1,000 prizes to the best-defined challenges.  

"Hemafuse is a prime example of the incredible work being done by entrepreneurs who are passionate about tackling global health challenges," said Dr. Kris Olson, Director at CAMTech. "The goal of the First Mile Innovation Challenge was to help identify and accelerate innovations that can save lives. Hemafuse shows tremendous promise in accomplishing that goal."

"The First Mile Challenge launched last year has produced an impressive list of solutions from start-ups, individuals and academia," said Vikram Damodaran, Chief Product Officer, GE Healthcare, SHS. "This further validates our belief in open and crowd-sourced innovation for public health challenges. Hemafuse is an outstanding example of a solution that has the potential to serve global health needs."

CAMTech and GE received more than 80 applications from 16 countries, which were narrowed down to a final ten and reviewed by CAMTech's extensive Technology Review Committee comprised of experts across the public health, clinical, engineering and business sectors. Submissions were scored according to five criteria: public health impact, management/team, commercial viability, technical innovation and co-creation. In addition to Hemafuse, the top proposals included:

  • CARIA (Cardiac Risk Assessment System): a portable screening tool that measures a person's height, weight, waist and hip circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar and SpO2 - within 8 minutes per subject (Lattice Innovations, India)
  • Making Minimal Invasive Surgery Available and Affordable: - a tool that makes laparoscopic and renal surgeries possible in rural areas using spinal anesthesia (Seesha and Karunya University, India)
  • PremieBreathe: a mobile device that delivers humidified, warmed, and oxygenated air to provide life-saving breathing support for newborns (Yale University, USA)

About CAMTech 

The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) is a global network of academic, clinical, corporate, government and non-profit partners, working together to drive health innovation around the world. Collaborating across sectors and geographies, CAMTech identifies pressing clinical needs from the field, crowdsources innovative solutions, and accelerates the cycle from idea to patient impact. CAMTech's initiatives, including the CAMTech Innovation Platform and CAMTech Accelerator Program, help connect and support a global community of innovators working to improve health in developing and emerging markets.

About GE Healthcare 

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE Healthcare (GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.

Media Contact: S. Rajan +91-9930109372 GE Healthcare


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