On an annual basis, INSTINCT will host a two-month summer innovation challenge that is specifically tailored to allow for unique and novel solutions to existing problems in healthcare and surgery. Our inaugural summer challenge was launched in 2017. Nicknamed the ‘pressure ulcer challenge,’ we sought out inspiring and cutting-edge solutions for early detection, prevention, and improved management of pressure ulcers, including decubiti and pressure sores on the feet.

Our world-wide challenge led to 16 submissions and culminated in a competitive race to the top to reach the most votes. After final considerations and voting from the judging panel, the winners were inPRO Medical (Onur Fidaner) and Team Seren (University of Swansea). Their submissions, ‘smart fabric pressure sensors for pressure ulcers’ and ‘SETRESS: a pressure sensing and massaging mattress to prevent pressure ulcers’ won them up to $25,000 in services and expenses to work with INSTINCT. INSTINCT will utilize its extensive resources, maker space, laboratories, network, and marketing tools for fabrication of working prototypes and continued development and exposure of the winning teams submissions.

We also periodically propose new challenges, such as the ‘Artificial/replacement liver system for acute and terminal liver disease’, which was recently funded to allow proof-of-concept.