As we keep an eye on the next generation of innovators, we put our focus on the finalists of the MIAT Prize 2019 to discover the top six innovative ideas that have the potential to make the biggest impact in the healthcare sector.
Our Gen-I series focuses on students and young innovators bringing fresh ideas to their industries. Our latest feature showcases the talent of six young entrepreneurs who have been nominated for the prestigious Morgan Innovation And Technology (MIAT) Prize 2019, an annual initiative from Morgan Innovation & Technology Ltd. helping companies and inventors bring their new products to market.
The MIAT 2019 Prize consists of €36000 (£31,000) of Research & Development services, €5800 (£5000) of consultancy services, and €5800 of legal services to further develop their product. This adds up to a total value of €47600 (£41,000), a substantial amount for any budding innovator and enough to help get promising ideas off the ground.
The Prize came about to identify and support the next generation of world-changing innovators across sectors. Located in Petersfield, UK, Morgan Innovation & Technology Ltd. sought to support innovations that have the potential for positive impact on society as a whole. The 2019 finalists exhibit a range of potential innovations with a special focus on health and medical treatment, from a robotic arm to a smart bracelet for menopausal women.
One finalist, Llyr Williams is from WASE, a wastewater treatment company. He seeks to improve sanitation facilities for 2.5 billion people across the world and thereby reduce child mortality. To do so, he has devised a decentralised wastewater treatment system. If Williams succeeded, he would complete one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Current forms of waste treatment often result in widespread disease, especially for women. WASE helps to prevent the contamination of local drinking water by treating waste 10 times faster than standard methods. The system can also generate high-energy biogas for use in cooking, increase crop yields through its fertiliser byproduct, and provide water for irrigation. This wealth of benefits all comes in a modular system that can adapt to different environments.
Next in the ring, Robert Paterson devised a custom-fit, Smart Mouthguard, ORB. It is designed to prevent the misdiagnosis of sporting head injuries. The secondary aims are also to improve the understanding of risks for contact sport players and support player performance improvements. Contact sports players often experience two problems: that of serious health risks from frequent concussions, and lack of access to proper sport analysis tools. ORB could solve both of these issues by providing biometric insights that have as yet gone untapped and also gathering data to promote further research into concussion.
David Barton and Heather Smart from Kaydiar Ltd. received Morgan Technology’s attention because of ZeroSole. This patented insole aims to treat and prevent diabetic foot ulcerations, improve patient quality of life, and reduce the burden on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The offloading design reduces pressure on the foot, thereby assisting in ulcer recovery and hopefully avoiding future complications or hospital visits. The high-quality material of medical grade silicone can provide long-term shear-resistant support.
Dr. Heba Lakany from the University of Strathclyde was nominated for the prize because of TAHARAC. Her team’s robotic arm exoskeleton aims to improve the rehabilitation experience for people with upper limb disabilities. The high cost of such prosthetics mean that many patients never reach their full potential for rehabilitation. The arm is powered by a rechargeable battery, making TAHARAC lightweight, well-balanced, and easy to use. This innovation will provide accessible and affordable devices to assist those with upper limb disabilities to better rehabilitate. The end goal is therefore to ensure people remain active in the community.
Nawar Al-Zebari‘s catheter made from smart materials, NuCath, aims to improve patient welfare and save the NHS over €2.3 billion (£2 billion) every year. The device will reduce chance of urinary tract infections. These currently account for 40 percent of hospital-acquired infections. Their reduction could save staff, and indeed the NHS as a whole, huge amounts of time and money. The more efficient design and change in materials should reduce the chance of such diseases to occur, whilst removing the need for additional training or procedures.
Peter Astbury also earned a place on this nomination list with his designer smart bracelet Grace. Already featured on Springwise, his device aims to improve the health and wellbeing of menopausal women across the globe. The stylish wearable can automatically detect and prevent hot flushes before the user even realises they are having one. The main benefit for users would be the decrease in sleep disruption. This can account for various health risks for menopausal women.
Springwise are keen to see the results of this game-changing prize. The future for all of these innovations is particularly exciting for the health sector in general. We will be keeping a careful eye on how all of these innovations evolve further down the line.
29th January 2019