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BioDesign 2021

MBSI proudly held the inaugural BioDesign Competition between 08/09/21 and 20/10/21 with much success. 9 teams of 5-6 members worked through the needs finding process, fast-prototyping and implementing business and market strategy throughout the 5 workshops and final pitch event that formed this program.


Despite the challenging lockdown circumstances due to COVID-19, the teams actively sought clinician engagement, especially with emergency physicians of Western Health who generously volunteered their time. Combined with the innovative approach they demonstrated in solving and implementing their clinical problems, each team produced exemplary pitches that made the concluding pitch event not only engaging, but also equally difficult to choose the winners.


In the end, 6 teams pitched and there were two well-deserved co-winners: ACESS and Uterra Medical, respectively pitching their projects on:

  1. ACESS smart cannula to improve timely IV cannula removal to prevent insertion site infection & sepsis

  2. Poppi by Uterra Medical to improve pessary fitting in patients with pelvic organ prolapse

BioDesign Competition 2021



Reducing the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders arising from non-ergonomic viewing angles that the surgeons have to maintain with traditional surgical loupes which lead to halted operations, sick leaves while reducing career longevity and quality of life of surgeons. Through their digital loupes, the team aims to integrate into medical practice seamlessly, improve teaching and assistive surgery and aid in documentation while targeting laparoscopic surgeries in future.


Improving the experience of individuals who undergo abdominal surgeries requiring placement of ostomy bags which can cause dehydration and low potassium levels leading to severe cardiac, circulatory and metabolic complications. Equally importantly, ostomy bags impact these individuals psychosocially: from their careers to relationships and independence in daily living. Through Smartoma which can digitally monitor and assist the individuals, the team aims to alleviate the burden imposed by ostomy bags on 1 in every 500 individuals and target a total addressable market of up to $4 billion.


TEAM AMM (Automated Medication Machine)

Medication dispensing is challenging: handling errors occur, and now especially at times of COVID-19, constantly going in to the pharmacy to physically interact with the staff and pharmacists to acquire your medication is not COVID-safe. Team AMM is proposing an automated medication dispensing system that will address these issues to provide individuals from elderlies to ones with disabilities living in a wide range of locations (urban, rural, rehabilitation centres and healthcare facilities) an opportunity to receive their medications conveniently without having to worry about missing regimens or exposing themselves to unnecessary health risks.


Preventing complications in patients with peripheral IV cannulas through safer, smarter and improved cannula design. Over 30M cannula insertions take place each year in Australia, leading to approximately 30,000 catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) where each infection in turn leads to a $60,000 per patient treatment burden. With delayed removal of the IV cannulas being the biggest reason behind this complication, team ACESS is proposing a system that will alert the clinical staff and the patient when it is time to remove the cannula.



Urinary tract stones are usually treated using extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). X-rays are used to fragment the stones allowing them to pass, however the degree to which fragmentation occurs is generally unknown. Patients are therefore over treated which can cause bleeding and prolonged procedures. Team Lithotripsy have proposed a solution which can determine the degree of fragmentation thereby reducing over treatment.


Patients with pelvic organ prolapse are fitted with a pessary, however this must be the correct size to function properly. Currently, pessary size is estimated after a digital exam is performed by a gynaecologist, and 1 in 3 times this estimate is wrong. Uterra Medical have proposed a device “Poppi” to accurately and comfortably measure the vagina to determine the appropriate size of pessary. The device is collapsible and easy to use meaning a GP or even the patient themselves could use it, and minimises discomfort.

Poppi by Uterra Medical
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