Point of care - third trimester ultrasound for resource-poor countries

Teams who accept this challenge will develop a portable simulated model for teaching Third Trimester - Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) in resource-poor countries that meets the ISUOG criteria. Ultimately, this model would allow for POCUS training to determine fetal position, number of fetuses, fetal heart rate, placental location, amniotic fluid volume (AFV) and fetal biometry in the third trimester of pregnancy. Rudimentary models have been attempted, but with little success. POCUS is the use of ultrasound technology to assess patients in variety of settings. Ultrasound machines have the added advantage of being portable, affordable, durable and reliable. Ultrasound imaging is the primary imaging modality for women’s health and is safe for obstetrical imaging. Simplified and standardized training on a portable model is required to ensure the systematic approach to a third trimester ultrasound examination and recognition of treatable anomalies in developing countries. Maternal mortality remains elevated in these countries. About 830 women die from pregnancy — or childbirth — related complications around the world every day. Most causes are preventable. The ability to use ultrasound in the setting of third trimester point of care screening in developing countries would positively affect delivery planning.


It is a well known fact that medication side-effects place a huge burden on our healthcare system. I believe that the majority of these problems can be averted by identifying concerns early. Pharmacists are a great resource to help identify and manage medication-related problems. I have established the practice of doing follow-up phone calls with patients at my pharmacy whenever they start a new medication. I have seen the benefit that this has had with my patients and have been able to identify therapy problems and help resolve them. Unfortunately, this is not standard practice because of the limited time pharmacists have to engage in such activities. Innovators who choose this challenge will develop an automated SMS “chat bot” follow up system that can be programmed to follow up with patients that start new medications. The monitoring parameters and questions would be relevant and specific to each medication based on a clinical algorithm.


Millions of children undergo surgery each year. These procedures commonly result in pain and distress. Poorly managed pain can result in negatively biased pain memories, fears, and for some children, phobias that persist into adulthood. This is, in part, due to inconsistent post-operative advice and teaching, variations in administration of analgesics and parental anxiety surrounding medication use. In addition, it has been shown that information handouts and educational videos are of limited value in terms of parental education surrounding post-operative issues. Recently developed mobile applications (apps) for the perioperative setting have demonstrated a beneficial impact on both the end user and the healthcare system. To date, app technology has not been extended to pediatric tonsillectomy patients, or pediatric ambulatory surgery.

We challenge you to design a smart phone app that 1. provides parents information about their child's upcoming surgery; 2. reminds parents about how much acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and liquids should be taken and when; 3. provides information regarding the normal post-operative course, including an FAQ section, as well as information about who and when to call with questions, and 4. collects information regarding post-operative course for physician's use.


Access to tertiary care Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialists is extremely limited in many regions outside of major academic centres in North America, while lengthy waitlists in metropolitan areas impair timely access to quality care. This disparity is even worse in most developing countries, where ENT specialist access is almost entirely through medical missions. The challenge is to make a low cost digital otoscope, capable of taking pictures of the ear drum which can be sent to an ENT or other experienced health care provider to allow for more accurate and timely diagnosis. This solution could be given to primary care providers and could be consumer facing, democratizing access to timely and accurate tertiary specialist care.


Fentanyl is a strong synthetic narcotic — about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine — and is typically prescribed to control severe pain. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been mixed with other street drugs and illegally sold in various forms such as pills and powders mixed into other drugs (e.g. cocaine, crystal meth, etc.). People who use drugs (PWUD) are at a higher risk of overdosing when using any substance containing fentanyl. Canada has seen a spike in fentanyl-related deaths, triggering a Public Health Emergency in some provinces. Naloxone is an effective antidote to control fentanyl-related overdoses and kits are available as part of overdose prevention strategies in some provinces, including Alberta. This antidote can be applied intramuscular (IM) by using specific doses based on overdose signs and symptoms. Innovators will be challenged to design a device for detecting and monitoring specific symptoms related to overdose (low body temperature, movement, blood oxygen levels, etc.) and delivering naloxone treatments if needed while also notifying medical personnel.


Many concussion injuries are mismanaged in emergency departments, sports medicine clinics, and athletic facilities because there is a lack of portable imaging methods to monitor the injury. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), a non-invasive optical imaging system that measures changes in blood oxygenation in the brain, has shown promise as a concussion monitoring tool. Can you build a sleek, wireless, wearable device that uses NIRS technology to monitor concussion patients?