On January 28, 2018, the second Healthcare Venture Contest Championships were held at the North Hall on Mita Campus.
This year’s Healthcare Venture Contest received submissions from 77 teams, surpassing entries from the inaugural contest. Entries were not limited to the Keio University School of Medicine and included submissions from other organizations within Keio as well as many other universities, local hospitals, clinics, and the private sector.
Through an application screening process and subsequent interviews, two victors emerged. The student champions were Medical-e, a team led by Masahiko Odaki, a third-year undergraduate at the Yamaguchi University Faculty of Engineering, who took on the theme of developing medical devices that bring innovation to cancer treatments. The professional champions were OUI Inc., led by Naohiko Aketa of the Keio University School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology, who expanded on their innovative device that enables complete ophthalmologic examinations from a smartphone.
The Medical-e team was recognized for controlling the electric current of cancer treatment devices to verify the prevention of iatrogenic complications in laboratory animal studies. If realized, their idea has the potential to make liver and pancreatic cancer treatments safer and cheaper. OUI Inc. was recognized for creating a business model that combines artificial intelligence and plans for inexpensive mass production of their smartphone-mounted funduscopic examination device prototype. With proper implementation, it could help provide much needed eye care in developing countries and areas with poor medical resources.
In addition, student team ACT received the Corporate Sponsor Award from Microsoft Japan for their theme on providing remote clinical services for LGBT and other social minorities.
In the Q&A session, teams were asked advanced, specialized questions by a panel of judges led by deans of various Keio University faculties and graduate schools, which served as a valuable opportunity to highlight new issues in the field of healthcare.
This year also featured a new audience award, which was intended to connect participating teams with potential backers, with over 40 organizations or individuals offering their support. The student team Kampooh received the student audience award for their service providing made-to-order porridge tailored to specific kampo medicinal needs. The professional audience award went to this year’s champion, OUI Inc.
In a comprehensive panel review, judges praised the thoroughness of the teams’ unique ideas and technologies, as well as their easy-to-understand visuals and roadmaps, which outlined projects from concept to implementation. The judges also applauded the passion and commitment teams had for sharing their research findings with the world.