Student Design Teams Shine at Coulter College

Posted By: Stacey Santiago (deleted) BMES News,

The team from the University of Texas at Arlington took “best overall design” for a plan to develop FibGuard, a noninvasive atrial fibrillation early detection wearable device at the 2023 Coulter College for Healthcare Innovation competition in Minneapolis, Minn., this week.

But while one team ended up with best overall, all of the 11 teams that participated were big winners in the three-and-a-half day educational forum and competition hosted at the medical device company Medtronic in Minneapolis and sponsored by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).

Teams from across the country and one from Colombia, South America, spent three days and nights prepping with their faculty advisers and other consultants – comprised of engineers, physicians, start-up and business executives, and regulatory experts. The consultants helped the students define their technical designs, marketing strategy, and value proposition before the students presented their final pitch in front of a panel of judges during the determining evaluation.

“It’s extremely rare to see a group of such diverse and qualified professionals come together and devote so much time and effort to help give biomedical engineering students this a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said John Falcioni, Executive Director/CEO of BMES. “The students absorbed the feedback like sponges and were all amazing.”

Each team presented their designs and winners were selected on Sunday, August 6, the final day of the competition.

The other teams participating, in addition to the University of Texas at Arlington, were teams from Drexel University; Los Andes University (in Bogota, Colombia); Purdue University; Trine University; Vanderbilt University; Rensselaer Polytechnic; University of Virginia Tech, Wake Forest; Texas A&M University; Virginia Commonwealth University; and the University of Oklahoma.

Universities participated in one of three product categories: pain stimulators, atrial fibrillations, or chronic hypertension. Awards were presented in the categories of: Best Design, Best Venture Capital Pitch, Best User Insights, and Best Overall Design.

The moderator of the event was Dr. Jenny Amos, Teaching Professor, Laura Hahn Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is also on the BMES Board of Directors.

Walt Baxter, Distinguished Scientist, Technical Fellow, Bakken Fellow, Cardiac Rhythm Management at Medtronic, and a team of company executives hosted the event at two Medtronic sites in the Minneapolis area.

Lisa Waples of Bicomx represented the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.

“Jenny and Walt were the heart and soul of the competition,” Falcioni said. “They invited experts and advisers whose impact on the students will last a lifetime.”

2023 Coulter College for Healthcare Innovation Competition Winners