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Student Innovators Tackle Healthcare Challenges with Creative Solutions

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

In a world where technology is rapidly advancing and there is a growing emphasis on social impact, the Invent Oregon 2023 competition stood out for their commitment & focus on service-driven projects that revolutionize healthcare.

One standout innovation of the competition was the Wheelchair Mate. The project is the brainchild of Nathan Matthews and Terry Num Kalin from Oregon State University. Designed to enhance the lives of wheelchair users, this groundbreaking system of rails showcased the power of adaptable technology. The concept was simple yet ingenious: attach rails to any type of wheelchair and open the door to a world of customizable attachments.

Their work is trying to make it simple for a wheelchair user to be able to easily attach personalized accessories like cup holders, tablet holders, or even specialized medical equipment to their chair. The Wheelchair Mate system provided a platform for these custom attachments to be printed and securely mounted, catering to the unique needs of each individual. This not only added convenience but also improved the overall quality of life for wheelchair users, empowering them with tools tailored to their requirements. This open-source project took the second place prize at the 2023 finals.

For those battling knee issues, the 'AsSITance' invention emerged as a way to help make getting out of a chair a lot safer. The programmable logic computer was designed by Thelma Mendoza & Jessica Yoko, mechanical engineering graduates from the University of Portland. AsSITance controls a piston mechanism, allowing individuals with knee problems to regain their independence and mobility while facilitating the process of getting up and down. Their goal is to eliminate pain and and insecurity associated with knee-related mobility challenges. This innovation not only highlighted the potential of technology in healthcare but also emphasized the importance of empathy-driven design.

A project from Rogue Community College led by Carter Stewart and Emmett Allen, who are both pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering, features an automatic tourniquet. They are hoping to create technology that will become common in first aid kits and other facilities to help with traumatic bleeding events.

In emergency situations, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. The Ancile Systems’ automatic tourniquet emerged as a critical lifesaver, designed to swiftly halt traumatic bleed events with just the push of a button. This innovation had the potential to transform emergency medical response, offering a simple and effective solution to control severe bleeding. And showcased the power of combining medical knowledge with engineering technology.

The Invent Oregon 2023 competition highlighted the incredible potential of student entrepreneurs in driving positive change within the healthcare sector. With a spotlight on service-driven projects, this year's event showcased remarkable solutions to real-world problems, from enhancing the lives of wheelchair users to revolutionizing emergency medical response.

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