Startups

Here’s who came out on top in MedTech Innovator’s Global Industry Competition

The selection process whittled the prospective candidate pool down from 700 companies to five finalists tackling healthcare problems ranging from women’s health to ophthalmology.

Since 2012, nonprofit startup accelerator MedTech Innovator has been holding an annual competition to crown an early stage startup as the MedTech Innovator of the year.

Besides bragging rights, winning the contest comes with a $350,000 grand prize, a major boon for this pre-clinical stage companies.

The selection process whittled the prospective candidate pool down from 700 companies to five finalists tackling healthcare problems ranging from women’s health to ophthalmology.

Judges for the competition included Jennifer Kozak, vice president of new business development at Johnson & Johnson, Anne Sissel, managing director of Baxter Ventures and Linda Elkins, the chief technology officer of the Gore Innovation Center.

Ultimately, the startup that was awarded the grand prize at last week’s MedTech Conference in Philadelphia was Boulder, Colo.-based Sana Health.

Sana Health is developing a smart sleep mask that it claims is able to help people with insomnia and severe neuropathic pain get relief and get to sleep. The company’s device uses light and sound simulation device which monitors bio-metric data to guide the user to natural deep sleep.

“It is a true honor to be recognized by the medtech community in this way, particularly given the other incredible finalists in the competition. The funding from this will support us in our goal to provide an alternative to opioids for managing pain,” Sana Health CEO Richard Hanbury said in a statement.

“We’re grateful to be a part of MedTech Innovator, which has provided invaluable mentorship and support.”

The four other contest finalists that presented at the event and received a $25,000 prize were as follows:

  • Paris-based AblaCare, which is developing a minimally invasive device and procedure to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome linked to infertility. The company’s technology tackles one of the most common endocrine disorders and is currently working on getting regulatory approval and preclinical validation for a clinical trial in humans early next year.
  • Dublin, Ireland-based CroiValve is working on a device for tricuspid regurgitation, which is often difficult to treat because of age and common comorbidities, especially among high-risk patient populations. The company’s technology allows clinicians to repair the tricuspid valve without the need for surgery.
  • Pessac, France-based FineHeart is looking to provide long term circulatory assistance in heart failure patients through its patented invention, an implantable mechanical circulatory support device that is meant to optimize cardiac output, while still preserving the heart’s contraction strength.
  • Spect is an eye care startup based in Palo Alto, Calif. that is targeting vision diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma by using a machine learning-based screen platform to help primary care providers diagnose eye diseases.