MedTech Innovator, a non-profit accelerator for medical device innovation, has announced the 2021 selections for its Showcase program. The 50 startups selected will showcase their solutions and receive coaching from experts at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (WSGR) Medical Device conference in June and the MedTech Conference in September. Twenty-five of the companies were also selected to participate in MedTech Innovator’s four-month Accelerator program.
The highly competitive selection process focused on identifying medical devices, diagnostic tools, and digital health solutions with the potential to transform healthcare delivery and outcomes. Among the many notable innovations, three companies — Everen Technologies, Neurofenix, and Otolith Labs — caught our interest at Health Tech Insider. In addition to be chosen for the Showcase, all three also were selected for the Accelerator program.
The Phoenix by Evren Technologies is a non-invasive transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS) device nestled inside a pair of comfortable earbuds. The Phoenx significantly reduced PTSD symptoms and improved quality of life for nearly all participants in a recent pilot study. As an alternative to VNS implants or psychiatric medications, tVNS isn’t new, but The Phoenix doesn’t simply provide low-grade electrical current. It includes an adaptive response algorithm that helps customize stimulation for each user and app-based software that collects biosignal data, tracks symptoms and triggers, and allows for remote patient monitoring by providers.
The Neurofinix NeuroBall system is a gamified solution for at-home upper limb stroke rehabilitation. It consists of a round hand and arm strengthening device connected wirelessly to a tablet dashboard. Intended to make rehab compelling to enhance engagement, the platform features games and activities that become more advanced as the user progresses. The dashboard also lets users track their progress and game stats, as well as view the scores of other users.
Otolith Labs is developing wearable transducer technology that sends stimuli to the vestibular system within the ear to minimize vertigo and motion sickness. Chronic vertigo affects more than 16 million people over the age of 40 in the United States, while one in three people experience motion sickness. Double-blind trials conducted by researchers at Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Audi, and GM all showed promising results for motion sickness, and Otolith is currently enrolling for an at-home vertigo study.
The 2021 Showcase and Accelerator programs conclude at the September MedTech Innovator conference, where 5 Accelerator startups will compete in the Grand Final competition. The grand prize of $350,000 will be awarded by audience vote.