Announcement of the Winners of the 1st PI Awards

Patient Innovation (PI) Project
Patient Innovation Announces the Winners of the 1 st PI Awards

Patient Innovation logo The Patient Innovation network, which has the support of the CMU Portugal Program, recently announced the six innovative medical solutions awarded for their commitment to “honor all patients, caregivers and collaborators who have developed innovative solutions to cope with the challenges of their health condition, to assist others they care about, or in some cases, to help people they don’t even know.”

More than 200 innovations were considered eligible and according with the organization, the Advisory Board, which is composed by Aaron Ciechanover (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2004), Eric von Hippel (MIT), Katherine Strandburg (New York University), Lee Fleming (University of California), Richard Roberts (Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 1993), and Robert Langer (MIT), had “an extremely difficult task” to select the winners. The award ceremony took place on July 10th, 2015, at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, in Lisbon. João Claro, national director of the CMU Portugal, was there to give the a ward to Joaquina Teixeira (Portugal) who placed helium balloons all over her house because she realized it made her son, which has Angelman Syndrome, jump and walk.

Pedro Oliveira

Led by Pedro Oliveira, from CLSBE, and Helena Canhão, from Faculdade de Medicina of the Universidade de Lisboa (FMUL), Patient Innovation is an international, multilingual, non-profit platform and social network that connects patients and caregivers and enables the sharing of their solutions.

The winners:

Patient Innovation Award Category

The Frequencer™ url

Louis Plante (Canada) developed the Frequencer which is a device that uses sound waves to help clear the lungs of patients that have cystic fibrosis.


Lisa Crites (USA) created the Shower Shirt after going through a mastectomy because of being diagnosed with breast cancer. This garment is water-resistant and enables patients in a similar situation to shower normally.

ExoVasc® url

Tal Golesworthy (UK), who has the Marfan Syndrome, created the Personalized External Aortic Root Support (PEARS), which prevents aorta rupture.

Caregiver Innovation Award Category

Upsee™ url

Debby Elnatan’s (Israel) son’s cerebral palsy led to the creation of Upsee. It helps children with similar conditions to participate ‘in their own way’ in social gatherings.

Helium balloons url

Joaquina Teixeira (Portugal) placed helium balloons all over her house because she realized it made her son, which has Angelman Syndrome, jump and walk to reach the balloons.

3D Printed Prosthetic Hand url

Ivan Owen (USA) developed low-cost 3D-printed prosthetic hands for amputees.

The Patient Innovation platform is an outcome of the “The Role of ‘User Innovators’ in the Development of Telecom Products and Services” project, and it is currently being carried out by the Entrepreneurial Research Initiative TEIPL: Technology, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy Lab, in the scope of the CMU Portugal Program, which is lead by Pedro Oliveira (CLSBE) and Lee Branstetter (CMU).

February 2015