Oct 24, 2016

Awards Kickstart Student Entrepreneurs

H2i Health Commercialization Award winners (l to r) Robert Brooks, Cameron Stewart, Alex Bibily and Mark Cicero

Dan Haves

H2i Health Commercialization Award winners (l to r) Robert Brooks, Cameron Stewart, Alex Bilbily and Mark Cicero

At this year’s Health Commercialization Awards, nine teams of U of T students had a chance to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges. They were all vying for one of three $5,000 Student Entrepreneurial Fellowships to help them develop their ideas with support from the Health Innovation Hub (H2i). Whether they were breaking new ground or putting a fresh spin on an old idea, these students all had unique and innovative plans to improve health outcomes.

One of the winning pitches was from Radiology residents Mark Cicero and Alex Bilbily who are developing a system to automatically interpret chest x-rays through the use of machine learning. They’ve demonstrated this automation to reliably interpret chest x-rays as normal or abnormal with a 91% accuracy. Currently this work is done manually by radiologists and physicians and is a time-intensive process.

Under their new H2i Student Entrepreneurial Fellowship Cicero and Bilbily will have the chance to work with mentors and health care experts who can help them develop their idea further.

“The fellowship will really help us jump start our plan to commercialize this technology and continue our research,” says Cicero.

“And getting positive feedback from the judges was really encouraging and will go a long way to fueling us through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.”

This is the 2nd annual Health Commercialization Awards. H2i began this initiative to celebrate and support student innovations.

“The fellowships are a unique opportunity,” says Professor Joseph Ferenbok, co-director of H2i, which supports commercialization in the health field. “They help bring together young entrepreneurs with mentors, opinion leaders, inter-professional domain experts and their resources and networks. These are the people who understand the unique opportunities and challenges of the health care space.”

Winning pitches:
Mark Cicero and Alex Bilbily – Towards Artificially Intelligent Radiology Systems, automated medical image diagnostics
Robert Brooks – SENSor, surgical device that measures the force of endoscopic tools
Cameron Stewart – Mesosil, dental resin that combats recurrent cavities

Fanny Sie – MaRS Innovation
Peng Fu – Novatio Ventures
Brad Brinton – Ontario Centres of Excellence