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

 
 

Texas takes a stumble on an annual list that identifies the top states for female founders. Photo via Getty Images

Texas dropped three spots in Merchant Maverick’s annual ranking of the top 10 states for women-led startups.

The Lone Star State landed at No. 5 thanks in part to its robust venture capital environment for women entrepreneurs. Last year, Texas ranked second, up from its No. 6 showing in 2021.

Merchant Maverick, a product comparison site for small businesses, says Texas “boasts the strongest venture capital scene” for women entrepreneurs outside California and the Northeast. The state ranked fourth in that category, with $6.5 billion invested in the past five years.

Other factors favoring Texas include:

  • Women solely lead 22 percent of all employees working for a business in Texas (No. 4).
  • Texas lacks a state income tax (tied for No. 1).

However, Texas didn’t fare well in terms of the unemployment rate (No. 36) and the rate of business ownership by women (No. 29). Other Texas data includes:

  • Average income for women business owners, $52,059 (No. 19).
  • Early startup survival rate, 81.9 percent (No. 18).

Appearing ahead of Texas in the 2023 ranking are No. 1 Colorado, No. 2 Washington, No. 3 California, and No. 4 Arizona.

Another recent ranking, this one from NorthOne, an online bank catering to small businesses, puts Texas at No. 7 among the 10 best states for women entrepreneurs.

NorthOne says Texas provides “a ton of opportunities” for woman entrepreneurs. For instance, it notches one of the highest numbers of women-owned businesses in the country at 1.4 million, 2.1 percent of which have at least 500 employees.

In this study, Texas is preceded by Colorado at No. 1, Nevada at No. 2, Virginia at No. 3, Maryland at No. 4, Florida at No. 5, and New Mexico at No. 6. The rankings are based on eight metrics, including the percentage of woman-owned businesses and the percentage of women-owned businesses with at least 500 employees.

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