winner, winner

Houston nurses win national innovation prize for developing life-like training technology

A team of Houston nurses won a national innovation award for a new game-changing training tool. Photos via Texas Children's Hospital

A team of Houston nurses was awarded the 2022 American Nursing Association Innovation Award last month for an engaging training tool that has already helped their peers locally and in sub-Saharan Africa become better equipped at performing essential medical skills.

Michael Pickett, Jaime Choate, and Jeannie Eggers with Texas Children's Hospital along with Marilyn Hocken and Tadala Mulemba with Baylor College of Medicine took home the nurse-led team award and $50,000 monetary prize for developing a group of devices known as the RediStik Wearable Simulation Trainers.

Resembling a CPR dummy and accompanied by immersive videos and live feedback via Zoom, the devices were designed to teach nurses how to insert Port-a-Cath and Central Venous Catheters (CVC) and perform peripheral intravenous (PIV) therapies, which are used to administer fluids, draw blood, and deliver medications.

The multidisciplinary team with support from the Texas Children’s Innovative Solutions Council developed five products (in two skin tones) over the course of three years that today can be worn by trainees and replicate textured skin and subcutaneous tissue to provide a realistic training experience.

The accompanying training materials and videos are often filmed from the nurse's point of view and are easily accessible via YouTube or a QR code.

The tools have already been utilized by nurses throughout Texas Children's, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa through the hospital's partnership with the Global HOPE (Hematology Oncology Pediatric Excellence) initiative.

According to the ANA, after training with the RediStik devices, 96 percent of surveyed nurses reported that they felt confident in starting PIV lines, compared to only 15 percent of surveyed nurses prior to training.

The funds from the award will allow the RediStik team to distribute the devices to additional health care systems and nursing schools within Houston and internationally, according to a statement from ANA. Funds can also be used to support translational research, development, prototyping, production, testing, and the implementation of the technology.

The award winners—which also includes Kasheta Jackson of Vidant Health who took home the individual prize—have one year to further develop their products and report their outcomes.

The ANA innovation awards are sponsored by medical device company Stryker. The RediStik devices were engineered and produced by Sawbones, a Washington-based anatomical medical training models company.

February was a big month for Texas Children's and BCM.

In addition to the honor from the ANA, BCM Drs. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez, co-directors of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, were also nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize for their development of a low-cost COVID vaccine.

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Building Houston

 
 

The latest cohort from gBETA Houston has been announced and is currently underway at the Downtown Launchpad. Photo courtesy

A national startup accelerator has announced its fifth local cohort, which includes five Houston companies participating in the spring 2022 class.

Madison, Wisconsin-based gener8tor has announced today the five participating startups in gBETA Houston. The program will be led by Muriel Foster, the newly named director of gBETA Houston, which originally launched in Houston in 2020 thanks to a grant from from the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

The program, which is designed to help guide early-stage startups find early customer traction, connect with mentors, and more, is based in the Downtown Launchpad, and is free and does not take equity in the participating companies. The cohort kicked off on April 21 and concludes on June 10.

The new cohort includes:

  • Founded by CEO Steffie Thomson a year ago, Getaway Sticks has designed a shoe that gives women the painless support they need using athletic foam to create a shoe that gives women the painless support they need. Getaway Sticks provides the solutions to women’s #1 wardrobe complaint of high heel pain. Since launch, the company has earned over $35,000 in revenue from over 150 customers.
  • Through a combination of software and hardware technology, LocBox is rethinking the shopping experience for online and local purchases. If you shop, ship, or have food delivered to your house, LocBox will make your life easier. Led by CEO Sterling Sansing, LocBox has previously participated in the Texas A&M MBA Venture Challenge.
  • SpeakHaus is focused on equipping young professionals and entrepreneurs with public speaking skills through its on-demand training platform and group coaching program. Since launching in October 2021, SpeakHaus has facilitated 6 corporate trainings and coached 61 business leaders generating over $49,000 in revenue. The company is led by CEO Christa Clarke.
  • Led by CEO LaGina Harris, The Us Space is creating spaces intentionally for women of color, women-led businesses, and women-centric organizations. Since launching in June 2021, The Us Space has created partnerships with more than a dozen community organizations, sustainable businesses, and organizations creating positive economic impact in the City of Houston.
  • Founded in August 2021, Urban Eatz Delivery is a food delivery service app that caters to the overlooked and underrepresented restaurants, food trucks, and home-based food vendors. Urban Eatz Delivery has earned over $88,000 in revenue, delivered to over 2,000 users, and worked with 36 restaurant and food vendors on the app. The company is led by CEO D’Andre Good.

“The five companies selected for the Spring 2022 cohort tackle unique problems that have propelled them to create a business that solves the issues they once faced," Foster says in a news release. "From public speaking, apparel comfort, and food delivery from underrepresented restaurant owners, these founders have found their niche and are ready to continue to make an enormous impact on the Houston ecosystem."

it's Foster's first cohort at the helm of the program. A Houston native, she has her master’s in public administration from Texas Southern University and a bachelor’s in marketing from Oklahoma State University. Her background includes work in the nonprofit sector and international business consulting in Cape Town, South Africa, and she's worked within programming at organizations such as MassChallenge, BLCK VC, and now gener8tor.

The program is housed at the Downtown Launchpad. The five startups will have access to the space to meet with mentors, attend events, and run their companies.

"Creating (the hub) was a little like a moonshot, but it’s paying off and contributing enormous impact to the city’s economy. The five startups selected for the gBETA Houston Spring cohort will continue that legacy,” says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development at Central Houston Inc., in the release. “As these entrepreneurs chase their dreams and create something epic, they will know Downtown Houston is standing behind them. I am so proud of what Downtown Launchpad is already, and what it will become.”

Muriel Foster, a native Houstonian, is the new director of gBETA Houston. Image via LinkedIn

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