MedTech Innovator this week announced Forest Devices as the winner of its 2019 global competition at the annual AdvaMed MedTech conference in Boston.
Pittsburgh-based Forest is developing a portable device to use electroencephalogram monitoring and machine learning to diagnose large-vessel occlusions and other stroke subtypes. The technology is designed to enable first responders to triage patients to proper stroke centers.
As the competition’s winner, Forest was awarded the $350,000 grand prize, an AdvaMed membership and a profile in the MedTech Strategist.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by the medtech community, especially given the other fantastic finalists in the competition,” CEO Matt Kesinger said in a news release. “The funding will support us in bringing our game-changing technology to market. The MedTech Innovator program has been fantastic and provided us with invaluable mentorship and support.”
MedTech Innovator CEO Paul Grand told MassDevice.com that the award comes after a seven-month process that winnowed some 800 companies down to 150. That pool was further narrowed after each company fulfilled a slate of pitch meetings with partners and investors to be selected for the accelerator program. Mentors assigned to the chosen companies helped them rework strategies; eventually, that crop was cut to the five finalists: Forest Devices, Flosonics Medical, Koya, OncoRes Medical and Venari Medical. The selections are based on three concepts: value, ability to execute and momentum, Grand said.
“I hesitate to use these words very often, but [Forest is] this holy-grail opportunity in healthcare, and that’s not something I say lightly,” he told us during in a phone interview yesterday. “Forest really is one of those game-changing opportunities. … We think Forest is a company that can provide the time saving that will remove disabilities that patients might typically wind up with and absolutely save lives. They’re going to do that with economics that also work with value-based care. To me, that’s a game-changer.”
As runners-up, Flosonics, Kova, OncoRes and Venari each earned a prize of $25,000.
“Every single one of them deserved to win the grand prize,” Grand said. “You’re putting five terrific, compelling companies against each other and asking people to choose, and any one of them deserved it. You could pick any one of those companies and I think every one of them is going to have a real disruptive impact on the particular sector they’re targeting.”
MedTech Innovator also announced winners of other awards at the conference. Avisi Technologies and Respirix each earned the $25,000 JLABS Award; Patch’d won the Gore Innovation Center Award and three months of access to the innovation center.