An interdisciplinary team composed of Industrial Design student Carly Landers, along with Grace Ma from Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Joe Rittenhouse from Materials Science and Engineering, and Dominik Takenaka from Industrial Systems and Engineering, has won first place in the Union Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Pamplin College of Business Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Union Bank and Carilion Clinic.
Student teams pitched innovative ideas, businesses, and products. Potential proposals spanned the spectrum of healthcare and wellness industries, including biotechnology; life sciences tools and services; wearables; health care equipment, providers, services, and technologies; pharmaceuticals; wellness apps or technologies; veterinary medicine; and medical devices.
“ILLUMI[NEO]ATE,” the product proposed by Carly and her team, used technology from Virginia Tech to develop a PICC line catheter tip that illuminates under near infrared fluorescent light. This innovative, inexpensive alternative allows the long term catheters placed in premature babies to be seen safely with an infrared imaging system, eliminating the need for X-rays on sensitive babies to monitor the placement of the catheters.