Home Hospital Innovation Challenge Showcases Imaging Technologies of Tomorrow

Martinos News

On Thursday, May 18, the MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging hosted the Home Hospital Innovation Challenge: a Shark Tank-like event in which researchers pitched ideas for novel biomedical imaging technologies that could be commercialized to meet a growing call for hospital-level care provided in the comfort of a patient’s home.

The panelists for the event – Glenn Miller, MGB Innovation; Kevin Whitney, COO/CNO MGB Healthcare at Home; Robert Weisskoff, F-Prime Capital; and Greg Sorensen, IMRIS – provided valuable feedback about each of the projects and offered important insights based on their deep experience in the medical device and venture capital fields.

The evening’s two winners were Anthony Samir, PhD, director of the Center for Ultrasound Research & Translation in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (panel selection), and Jerry Ackerman, PhD, director of the Biomaterials Laboratory within the Martinos Center (audience selection).

Samir presented a point-of-care surgical robotic platform that combines machine learning algorithms, ultraportable ultrasound imaging, and low-cost surgical robotics to automate vascular access. Applications of the system include blood draws and the remote administration of injectable medications.

Ackerman proposed a fleet of trucks offering curbside, mobile MRI. The project takes advantage of novel “dry” (liquid-helium free) superconducting magnet technology, which enables MRI scanners that are highly compact, portable, and less expensive than conventional magnets. The team behind this project also included Clarissa Cooley, PhD, Jason Stockmann, PhD, Andre van der Kouwe, PhD, and Susie Huang, MD, PhD.

The other presentations were:

  • Tissue Water Content Monitor (Stefan Carp, PhD, Maria Angela Franceschini, PhD): a wearable near-infrared spectroscopic device that could be used peripherally to monitor tissue water content to detect/monitor due to heart failure as well as to confirm sufficient tissue oxygenation levels.
  • Portable Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) Device (Iris Zhou, PhD): a home-based mobile imaging technology for frequent assessment of heart, lung, liver or kidney function consisting of a lightweight and portable console, a reusable and disinfect able multi-channel electrode belt, a mobile app interface and a cloud-based processing pipeline.
  • Automated Triage (Mary Cantanese, PhD): a symptom reporter and multi-level automated triage based on screening of patients prior to an ER visit, designed both to minimize emergency room visits for non-life threatening cold or flu and to open new pathways for virtual care.


In the image above: Anthony Samir (second from right) with the Martinos Center’s Bruce Rosen and Hope Taft and panelists Kevin Whitney and Glenn Miller.