Innovators share Sheikh Zayed prize
WASHINGTON // The winners of a competition named in honour of the Sheikh Zayed, the founding President, to find the best new medical device for children have been announced.
The Sheikh Zayed prize for paediatric device innovation rewarded the two best designs with US$50,000 (Dh184,000) each.
The first winner was Velano Vascular, a San Francisco company whose innovation enables safe, needle-free withdrawal of blood from children.
The second winner was Rebiscan, based in Massachusetts, which developed a handheld scanner that detects amblyopia, better known as lazy eye.
Justin G Shaka, chief executive and co-founder of Rebiscan, said: “Each year, over one million children worldwide lose their vision because of the lack of early detection from eye conditions such as amblyopia.
“This prize will enable us to transition from the regulatory phase into manufacturing so that we can get our device into the hands of clinicians.”
To win, the eight shortlisted companies – chosen from 56 – had to convince a judging panel during the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation second annual symposium, which was hosted by the Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington.
Peter Kim, vice president of the institute, said: “Currently, the development of paediatric surgical and medical devices lags significantly behind the development of adult devices.
“The purpose of the symposium and competition is to focus attention and discussion on the challenges facing device development and how we can work together to meet these challenges for the benefit of children.”
The symposium took place last Friday and brought together representatives from food and drug companies, the medical device industry, law firms and paediatric societies, as well as scientists, engineers, doctors and policymakers.
The event aimed to examine and discuss the challenges surrounding paediatric surgery and the need for greater innovation in the field.
The institute was officially opened at the Children’s National Medical Centre in 2011 and funded with a US$150 million (Dh551m) grant from the Government.
Updated: October 27, 2014 04:00 AM