AAMI News July 2019

Entrepreneurs ‘Xcelerate’ Innovation at Pitch Competition

Karl West
Inventor Karl West explains the “real-time fused holographic visualization” technology being developed by MediVew AR.

An augmented reality (AR) system that helps surgeons navigate surgeries to remove cancer, an interactive tele-rehabilitation platform for children, and an analytical tool to optimize patient scheduling—these were the winners of the first Xcelerator pitch competition, a celebration of health technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and grit.

During the pitch competition at last month’s AAMI Exchange, five health technology startup companies pitched their technologies to an expert panel of judges. The entries were so impressive that AAMI President and CEO Rob Jensen announced a doubling of the prize amounts.

The first-place winner, Ohio-based MediView AR, won $10,000 to further develop “X-ray vision” technology that superimposes three-dimensional (3D) holograms of the patient’s internal anatomy in real time, using previous imaging (such as a computed tomography scan) and an augmented reality headset. Licensed from the Cleveland Clinic in 2017, the “real-time fused holographic visualization” technology, promises to improve treatment for cancer patients by allowing for radiation-free surgical navigation, according to CEO John Black.

“This has huge potential. Instead of looking at a patient on the table, you can see through their skin, visualize what you’re trying to get to, and what’s in the way,” Black said. “This is a revolution in how we visualize medical data.”

Following the pitch competition, inventor and Cleveland Clinic project scientist Karl West wowed attendees by letting them wear the headset and look into his body—revealing the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and simulated cancer tissue beneath in full 3D. MediView AR’s technology is working towards a 510(k) premarket submission in the next two years.

In second place (winning $6,000) was Augment Therapy, which has developed a tele-rehab system that helps children—especially those who have disabilities—continue their physical therapy outside of their office visits and have fun doing it. The company was founded by physical therapist Lindsay Watson, who developed non-wearable augmented reality technology based on pain points she’s experienced in more than a decade specializing in pediatric physical therapy.

“This idea was ruminating for a long time. I was frustrated by my patients’ own inability to access my care outside along with my own inefficiency in delivering care,” Watson said. “Pediatrics is consistently passed over for innovation—I decided rather than being angry about it, I was going to do something about it.”

In third place (winning $2,000), Healthcare Analytics pitched an analytical system designed to help healthcare systems plan around patient no-shows, a “common and expensive occurrence” in healthcare, according to CEO Quentin Fisher. The cloud-based platform provides “predictive insights” into which appointments are likely to no-show and then provides scheduling recommendations to make the best use of resources.

The Xcelerator was a collaboration between AAMI and BioEnterprise, held at the HIMSS Innovation and Conference Center within Cuyahoga County’s Global Center for Health Innovation.