September 24, 2020
A team of UBC Engineering and Sauder School of Business graduates — Siddharth Birla, Jessica Bo, Rio Nishida, Kevin Ta, Gordon Yeh and Jessica Yu — has been named the winner of the 2020 James Dyson Award in Canada.
Known as Attentiv Medical, the group developed an innovative intravenous (IV) catheter and monitoring system to detect IV infiltration, a common complication of IV therapy. Infiltration involves the leakage of medical fluid from a catheter into the surrounding tissue, which can cause permanent damage if left untreated.
“We are thrilled for our work to be recognized by the James Dyson Foundation,” says Jessica Bo, the team’s research lead and now a master’s student in mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich. “Honours like this encourage us to continue our efforts to bring our device to market and achieve our ultimate goal of improving IV safety and standards of care around the world.”
Attentiv’s innovative technology — which consists of a sensorized catheter, transmitter and monitor — alerts caregivers as soon as the catheter is dislodged from the vein, the main cause of leakage. Developed in consultation with nurses, researchers and hospital managers, the system requires little training and can be easily integrated into existing workflows, says the team.
Infiltration is particularly harmful among vulnerable populations such as premature babies, the elderly and people undergoing chemotherapy, who may require surgery or even amputation as a result of the leakage. The team identified the problem as a major one after interviewing more than 70 individuals within the biomedical field, including researchers, industry experts and clinicians.
The Attentiv team has already received several other awards and honours since forming in UBC’s New Venture Design course last year. These include first place in the healthcare stream of the 2020 Microsoft Canada Discover AI Challenge, second place at UBC's Innovation onBoard entrepreneurship competition, the Royal Bank of Canada Get Seeded award and the 2020 UBC New Venture Design Program Industry Award and Faculty Award.
As the winner of the Canadian arm of the James Dyson Award, Attentiv now has the opportunity to progress to the international stage of the competition, where they would face off against 19 other teams for a $50,000 prize. The finalists, selected by Dyson engineers from a pool of national winners and runners-up from 27 participating countries and regions, will be announced in mid-October.
Established by the James Dyson Foundation in 2005, the James Dyson Award is an international design award that “celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers.”
For more information about Attentiv Medical or the James Dyson Award, please see the official press release or watch the team's James Dyson Award video below.