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AiimSense and Helixir Medical win big at 2024 ICAIR Awards ceremony

This press release was originally shared by KITE UHN on May 13, 2024. Read the original here.

Two Innovation Factory clients, AiimSense and Helixir Medical, have been recognized for their innovative healthcare solutions at the 2024 International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation (ICAIR), hosted by The KITE Research Institute at University Health Network (UHN).

The two-day conference was held at the Carlu event venue in downtown Toronto, attracting more than 800 attendees from a variety of professional disciplines, including heath care, rehabilitation, engineering and age-tech.

The annual conference is highlighted by a series of competitions that showcase innovative ideas, products and concepts, as well as research papers and presentations on a variety of topics related to helping the elderly and those living with disability and illness.

Winners of the 2024 KITE Power Play Pitch Competition

One of the highlights of ICAIR is the Power Play Pitch Competition, a Dragon’s Den-style event that fosters the development and commercial success of innovative startups. The competition is divided into two categories: the Innovative Concept Competition and the Innovative Start-up Competition, with contestants vying for a share of $50,000 in prizes.

Innovative Start-up Category Winner: AiimSense Inc.

AiimSense Inc. emerged victorious in the Innovative Start-up Category, claiming the first-place prize and $25,000.

“This award along with the connections we’ve built at ICAIR will help accelerate our growth,” said AiimSense CEO and co-founder Atefeh Zarabadi. “We will use the funding from this award to get certification to begin in human trials.”

The medical technology company specializes in cutting-edge electromagnetic technology for diagnostic imaging. AiimSense’s flagship product is a portable brain scanner designed to reduce the cost of head scans and improve outcomes for stroke and traumatic brain injury patients.

Innovative Concept Category Winner: Helixir Medical

Helixir Medical (formerly FocalViz), led by CEO and co-founder Moses Cook, took home the first-place prize of $2,500 in the Innovative Concept Category. The company is developing intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualization software for catheter procedures focused on improving patient outcomes and reducing physician burnout.

KITE Director Dr. Milos R. Popovic, from left, with Power Play Innovative Concept winners, Helixir Medical CEO Moses Cook, TRUSTE Inc. CEO Shaghayegh Chavoshian and PostureCoach Chief Technology Officer Davood Dadkhah. Image Source: KITE UHN

“It’s obviously exciting to see a large conference such as ICAIR associated with KITE and UHN seeing value in therapies that are looking for cures for heart disease,” said Cook. “The money from this award will go directly towards developing our product from a research project into a commercial product.”

Second and third place in the Innovative Concept Category were awarded to Shaghayegh Chavoshian of TRUSTE Inc., and Davood Dadkhah of PostureCoach, who received $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.

Three Minute Talk Competition

The Three Minute Talk Competition (3MT) challenges young scientists to distill their research findings into compelling three-minute presentations. KITE trainee Shaghayegh Chavoshian won first place for her research on “The Effect of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Daytime Airway Narrowing in Older Adults with Asthma Exposed to Cold Temperature.”

Nicholas Moser and Rachael Carson, also KITE trainees, secured second and third place respectively.

ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series

The ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series, another prestigious event, features authors of distinguished research papers presenting their findings. This year, the Paper of the Year Award was given to Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos, Associate Professor at Ontario Tech University, for her paper on the trauma experienced by essential family caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Fatma Inanici from the University of Washington and KITE affiliate scientist Dr. Gabriela Melo Ghisi earned second and third place respectively.

Rehabilitation Sciences Institute Best Poster Award in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The conference also highlighted the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in research. The Best Poster Award in this category was presented to Juliana Nunes Da Silva and Renato Barbosa dos Santos for their significant contributions.

Celebrating innovation and progress

The 2024 ICAIR Conference not only showcased the latest advancements in aging, innovation, and rehabilitation but also celebrated the achievements of remarkable innovators and researchers. The event underscored the critical role of collaboration and funding in driving healthcare forward, paving the way for a brighter, healthier future for all.

Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory is a business accelerator, dedicated to helping Ontario-based businesses launch, scale, and succeed. We provide start-ups, and scaling companies with advisory services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to help bring disruptive technologies to market, leverage intellectual property, increase revenues, attract investment and create jobs. Serving as the catalyst for tech innovation in the greater Hamilton area since 2011 we are driven to help: Entrepreneurs bring new ideas to life and to market Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs) get to the next level Hamilton build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation Innovation can happen anywhere. Our goal is to make it work everywhere. We work to elevate key industry sectors including, advanced manufacturing, clean tech, information technology, integrated mobility, life sciences & health care and social innovations.

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