WASHINGTON (October 10, 2023) – Alliance for Pediatric Device Innovation (APDI), the federally funded consortium led by Children’s National Hospital, is joining with MedTech Color for a special edition of the “Make Your Medical Device Pitch for Kids!”™ competition focused on supporting African-American and Hispanic innovators.
With the aim of making pediatric medical device innovation more inclusive, organizers are accepting applications for pediatric medical devices from innovators of color who are traditionally underrepresented in the medical device industry. Funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), APDI and its leadership recognize that some diseases disproportionately affect people of color and medical devices can benefit greatly from the insights provided by innovators of the same background.
“We all benefit from more equity and inclusion among pediatric MedTech founders, decision-makers, investigators and developers in more effectively addressing the needs of the entire pediatric population,” said Kolaleh Eskandanian, Ph.D., MBA, vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National and APDI program director and principal investigator. “We need the expertise and insights of innovators from diverse backgrounds to provide these talented individuals with more opportunities and to better utilize their perspectives in device development.”
MedTech Color, founded in 2017, is a nonprofit membership organization built on the same ideal: diverse leadership in the medical technology field leads to greater innovation and better outcomes. The organization works to advance the representation of people of color in the medical device industry and to nurture the next generation of founders. MedTech Color, which also hosts its own annual pitch competition, aims to build a cohesive community of leaders of color, drive thought leadership and increase the number of underrepresented executives in the industry.
“We are delighted to partner with APDI to provide another opportunity for grant funding and support services for
African American and Hispanic pediatric MedTech innovators,“ said Kwame Ulmer, founder and executive director of MedTech Color. “We look forward to showcasing these innovators and their devices as we work together to support their work so that children everywhere can benefit.”
The pitch competition is open to innovators from all sectors including businesses and academic medical centers. Applications should be focused on advancing a device or technology toward commercialization with aspects such as prototyping, manufacturing, marketing and regulatory clearance addressed. Because this FDA-funded program places special emphasis on bridging the gap that often follows the prototyping phase, the competition welcomes devices that are ready for that next stage of development.
“The application process will also give preference to devices addressing diseases that are more prevalent in communities of color,” said APDI Principal Investigator Julia Finkel, M.D., pediatric anesthesiologist and director of Pain Medicine Research and Development in the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. “This is an opportunity to address needs that may be previously underrepresented and to ignite communication that will increase awareness and broaden support.”
Interested innovators can find details and apply here (MedTech Color Pitch Competition). Applications are due by November 10, 2023.
APDI is one of five nonprofit consortia in the FDA’s Pediatric Device Consortia program that receives funding to provide a platform of services, expertise and grants to support pediatric innovators in bringing medical devices to the market that specifically address the needs of children. Along with Children’s National, APDI members include Johns Hopkins University, CIMIT at Mass General Brigham, Tufts Medical Center, Medstar Health Research Institute, OrthoPediatrics Corp, and MedTech Color.
Advancements in pediatric medical devices continue to lag significantly behind those of adults, which is why APDI is focused on helping more pediatric medical device innovations achieve commercialization.
For more information on APDI, visit innovate4kids.org
About Children’s National Hospital
Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., was established in 1870 to help every child grow up stronger. Today, it is the No. 5 children’s hospital in the nation and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus opened in 2021, a first-of-its-kind pediatric hub dedicated to developing new and better ways to care for kids. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. As a nonprofit, Children’s National relies on generous donors to help ensure that every child receives the care they need.