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Rice 360° Sixth Annual Undergraduate Global Health Technologies Design Competition

Friday, April 15, 2016: Bioscience Research Collborative Auditorium


The Rice 360° Sixth Annual Undergraduate Global Health Technologies Design Competition was held on Friday, April 15 in the Bioscience Research Collborative Auditorium. Over 20 student teams from national and international universities presented their low-cost global health technologies. Judges from industry, academia, and medicine evaluated the designs on the quality of the problem definition, the effectiveness and potential impact of the design solution, and the likelihood that the solution can be successful in improving healthcare delivery in low-resource settings by faculty, clinicians, and private and public sector partners from around the country.

1st Place Team SIGHT

SIGHT, the first team from HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) to participate in the Rice competition, captured first place with its Electronic Medical Record System, an electronic, real-time patient record system that caters to medical teams operating mobile clinics in resource-poor communities. The system, which has been implemented in mobile clinics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia since summer 2015, features a simple user interface, fingerprint-based patient registration and a keyword search-based disease and medication database.


2nd Place Team Pneu Vac

Team Pneu Vac from Carnegie Mellon University took second place with its low-cost mechanical pump made to remove fluids from the mouth during dental procedures. The innovative pneumatic system features parts — like empty soda bottles and bicycle tire valves — that are readily available in most low-resource settings.


3rd Place Project Mesa

Project Mesa from the University of Michigan’s student global health initiative — Michigan Health Engineered for All Lives — captured third place with its portable OB-GYN exam table. The folding exam table, which collapses to form a backpack, enables clinicians to perform OB-GYN exams in remote, low-resource communities that aren’t easily accessible.


Caring Friends Prizes


This year the Rice 360 global health design competition received a special addition to the usual ceremonies. John Collier and his group, Caring Friends, provided prizes for the top three teams. These prizes were presented on one condition- that the money be donated to a charity working on the team’s chosen global health problem. John is a Rice alumnus and has a wonderful history of impacting areas of need through his organization. Caring Friends learns from the underserved and targets hand-up responses to human need. We look forward to working with John and Caring Friends on future design competitions.

Attendees also enjoyed a keynote address from Kara Palamountain. Ms. Palamountain leads the Global Health Initiative (GHI), which is currently working in partnership with Northwestern University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health Technologies (CIGHT) to develop and produce affordable HIV diagnostics for resource limited settings. Ms. Palamountain has played a crucial role in identifying the more strategic aspects of introducing diagnostics developed by CIGHT. She has managed over 50 Kellogg field research teams conducting market entry analysis in more than a dozen countries. Ms. Palamountain is also the President of the Northwestern Global Health Foundation. She received her MBA from Kellogg in 2004 and her BBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998.

Reception & Keynote Address by

Kara Palamountain

Research Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management and
Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative
Northwestern University



Past Winners:


2015    Spirosense, Johns Hopkins University

            Team SteriVac, Rice University

            PulseFox, Rice University

            Postpartum Hemmorrhage Treatment, University of Michigan

            Woven Solutions, University of Pittsburgh

            CardioLead, Johns Hopkins University

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