University of Utah student startup LightLine catheter won second place and $15,000 at the the AMA Healthier Nation Innovation Challenge on Saturday.
The AMA’s Healthier Nation Innovation Challenge kicked off in April and invited all U.S. physicians, residents and medical students to be a positive force for health care and present their best ideas for shaping 21st-century medicine. The three winning ideas were selected from a total of 116 solutions submitted to compete in the challenge.
LightLine catheter was presented by Mitchell Barneck, a rising fourth-year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University and co-founder of Veritas Medical, and John Langell, MD, the director of the Center for Medical Innovation at the U who mentored the team. Their catheter employs a novel visible light phototherapy technology to actively disinfect the device while residing within a patient’s body.
“405 nanometer blue light, a component of visible spectrum light, has proven to be a powerful weapon against … deadly bacteria,” Barneck said. “Our team has been able to isolate, intensify and harness this blue light source, and we can now use a proprietary technology to propagate it … through any commercial catheter, where we can actively destroy (the) bacteria that cause infections.”
Barneck added: “We can kill 99.9999 percent of organism. At our current dose, we are completely nontoxic to mammalian cells, and we’ve shown that we have no impact on blood components.”
In addition to $50,000 in prizes, winners will gain access to the AMA’s network of partners that specialize in strategy and design support for entrepreneurs and startups, including Business Models, Inc., Edge One Medical, Healthbox, MATTER, MU/DAI and Techstars.
“A passion for transforming health care is a quality physicians and medical students share with many pioneering entrepreneurs,” said James L. Madara, MD, AMA CEO and executive vice president. “To harness this passion for health care innovation, the AMA is expanding efforts to inspire and support physician-led medical advances, and is proud to support the best new ideas to create a healthier nation.”
During the submission period, physicians, residents, medical students, nurses, patients, hospital staff, health leaders and investors had the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the ideas. This crowd engagement generated nearly 16,000 online interactions between applicants and reviewers, including votes, follows, interest to pilot, interest to partner and feedback.
The AMA’s Healthier Nation Innovation Challenge underscores the commitment of America’s physicians to supporting health care innovation and collaboration. The AMA is now deeply involved in driving transformative health care innovation as it ramps up efforts to bridge the gap between creative idea development and the realities of patient care.
From revitalizing medical practices to ensuring that digital health helps provide high-quality patient care, the AMA’s ongoing work is striving to forge new paths that expand the bounds of science, enhance patient care and improve the health of the nation.