Contest Opens to Stimulate Pediatric Device Innovations

Competition for startups aims to increase the pace of development and commercialization of critically needed pediatric medical devices.


In the world of innovation, devices used for pediatric medical care, particularly the very young, are lagging behind those created for adult purposes. A contest is now open, inviting innovators to do something about it. 

Top contenders will be awarded with support from an innovation accelerator to further develop their device and an opportunity to win up to $250,000 in grant money Applications for the contest, operated by the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), in collaboration with MedTech Innovator, are due by February 15. The competition focuses on pediatric devices in three areas of critical need: Cardiovascular, orthopedic and spine, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).


“While there is a great need for pediatric devices in many specialty areas, the development and commercialization process is very challenging because of the small market size and dynamic characteristics of the patient population,” says Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, MBA, PMP, vice president and chief innovation officer at Children’s National Hospital and principal investigator of NCC-PDI, in a news release.


On average over the past decade, only 24% of life-saving medical devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—that go through premarket approval (PMA) and humanitarian device exemption (HDE) regulatory pathways—have an indication for pediatric use, according to NCC-PDI. Of those, most are designated for children age 12 or older.