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Students win $17,500 in prize money in third State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Competition

Healthcare Innovation Competition Winner

A USF undergraduate mathematics major won $10,000 Thursday for having an innovative healthcare idea: the ability to manage disease pathology using cloud-based computer analysis.

Hunter Jackson was the first-place winner in the State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Competition, where he pitched his idea in an eight-minute presentation to a panel of judges. The second and third place competitors, Rollins College student Dewey Dew and USF engineering student Simon Bello, won $5,000 and $2,500 for their innovations.

"This student competition brought together the brightest student innovators from colleges and universities from across the state of Florida to showcase their innovations to solve the biggest problems facing healthcare today," said Michael Fountain, director of USF's Center for Entrepreneurship. "I look forward to seeing many of these innovations entering the marketplace to have positive impacts in healthcare delivery. Big problems require big solutions, and these students came prepared to help solve today's most pressing unmet healthcare needs."

Fifteen students from four universities -- USF, the University of Florida, Florida International University, and Rollins College -- pitched their ideas for innovations in healthcare at the University of South Florida at USF Connect. Florida Blue, The National Academy of Inventors and the USF Center for Entrepreneurship partnered on this program, now in its third year, to encourage early-stage healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship in the state of Florida.

"USF is the ideal place to host such a statewide competition, with our interdisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship and our Student Innovation Incubator fostering creativity and business acumen," said Moez Limayem, dean of the USF Muma College of Business. "This competition is yet another example of USF's commitment to developing student entrepreneurship, this time in the in-demand field of healthcare. We cannot find a better partner for this endeavor than Florida Blue, who is outstanding in supporting student success throughout Florida."

"Our mission is to improve the health of individuals and communities in the state of Florida," Florida Blue Market President David Pizzo told the student competitors. "Keep developing your ideas."

The judging panel included experts from the fields of education, venture capital, medicine, and patent law.

The fifteen presentations by students included:

  • A vascular skin patch that will offer high value to diabetic patients;
  • A medical device that helps determine the health of gum tissue;
  • A cloud-based solution for digital microscopy/pathology management;
  • A device that uses human body electricity to detect early health conditions;
  • A breath-actuated glucose monitoring system;
  • A patented tracking device that organizes and navigates the world's medical knowledge and databases;
  • An auditing algorithm that helps mitigate fraud in the insurance industry;
  • A radio-frequency identification (RFID) inventory management solution for high value expiration date critical consumable surgical inventories for hospitals;
  • A polymer- hinged finger brace that will help with rheumatoid arthritis;
  • A new 24/7 cardiac monitoring device;
  • A software for managing healthcare effectiveness data and information set (HEDIS) records;
  • A mesh technology that helps improve the efficiency of cardiac healthcare;
  • A home navigation system for wheelchair users;
  • A pressure sensitive implantable pump that helps with ocular diseases;
  • And an app that helps individuals eat healthier foods.

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a nationally ranked, interdisciplinary center, and is part of the USF Muma College of Business, in collaboration with the USF College of Engineering, the Morsani College of Medicine, and the Patel School of Global Sustainability. 

To see photos from the competition, visit our Facebook page.