Media Contacts

Stacy W. Kish

Communications Specialist, University of Utah Health
Phone: 801-587-2596

Apr 04, 2019 2:45 PM

Bench to Bedside is a program that introduces students to the world of medical and global health innovation through an incentive-based team competition. The program culminates in the final competition where multi-disciplinary teams, consisting of students with expertise in medicine, engineering, informatics, business, law, film and media arts, architecture, mathematics, biology, chemistry and computer science, present their novel medical innovations. 

With only six months and $500, each group develops a device to address an unmet clinical need with the aim of bringing the new technology to market. During this time, the teams can consult with University of Utah Health physicians from a broad area of specialties, as well as, key opinion leaders and stakeholders. 

Projects this year tackle real-world needs, such as helping dialysis patients track and monitor kidney function while traveling, detecting congenital heart disease during a routine prenatal ultrasound and developing a portable insufflator that can be used in underserved global settings. 

“This program taps into our amazing pool of students as well as our seamless collaborative partnerships with the Health Sciences Center, School of Business, Colleges of Engineering and Law, the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and industry partners to produce incredible results," said John Langell, MD, PhD, MPH, MBA, executive director for the Center for Medical Innovation at U of U Health. “Previous teams have already improved health care delivery through technology commercialization. I am especially excited for this year’s event and expect to see incredible technologies unveiled during the competition.”

This year, the Bench to Bedside teams will compete for more than $120,000 in prize money with the grand prize of $25,000 awarded to the first-place team.

Since its inception, the Bench to Bedside competition has grown from 14 teams in in 2010 to more than 40 teams this year.  Of which, 12 are legacy teams, returning to the competition having furthered their projects from the previous year. This year, Bench to Bedside welcomes teams from universities state-wide and local high school teams.

“Our student teams have been working tirelessly over the past eight months to prepare innovative projects that may disrupt health care and improve the patient experience, both domestically and abroad,” said Jason Miller, B2B Student President and MBA student at University of Utah.  “We are excited to showcase their hard work and effort to our expert judges, potential investors and community as a whole.”

Each team will present their device to an expert panel of judges who will evaluate and score their work based on the team’s business strategy, design quality and healthcare impact.

The Bench to Bedside competition began as a beta-test for the BioInnovate program but has quickly become one of the most popular student program at U of U Health. Since 2010, Bench to Bedside has mentored more than 900 participants on more than 200 teams that have invented more than 200 medical devices, filed more than 140 patents and launched more than 50 companies. This creative approach has resulted in unique design concepts, several of which are currently heading toward commercialization. 

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