Pediatric Medical Device Innovation

“A paradox exists in pediatric healthcare: while tremendous philanthropy supports individual care, few new therapeutic devices/tools are ever developed specifically for pediatric patients.  The impediments are profound-  pediatric markets are small and poorly funded, and regulatory hurdles are high. These impediments notwithstanding, such new products would improve the lives of many children. Thus, there is compelling need to discover and develop  new ways to build businesses that mitigate these risks.  The Pediatric Idea Campaign, nurtured by The Kauffman Foundation and Lucile Packard Foundation for Childrens Health, may provide a model to do just that” – Thomas Krummel MD

Kevin Chao MD and I have recently launched an idea campaign is intended to bring physicians, care providers, parents, patients and innovators together in a collaborative environment.  The goal is to harness the creativity and collaboration of groups of people, and to shorten the time it takes to get solutions to market.  The idea campaign is built on proven idea management software from and produced by PreBeta.

“There is a trio of barriers that limits the availability of pediatric medical questions or devices,” said Chao. “There are very small markets in a heterogeneous population with high regulatory hurdles and poor payer mix. This perfect storm of barriers makes it hard to create a sustainable business, or get investors excited. We are bringing people together in a forum that encourages them to contribute and share their ideas freely. This is a radical departure from what people are used to in the business or medical world. By leveraging people’s collective passion, genius and creativity we can hope to achieve something worthwhile.”

“The power of idea campaigns like this is to enable people who previously had no voice in the early stage innovation process,” said Rick Bess, CEO, PreBeta. “The spark for an idea often comes from unexpected people and places. For example, a family doctor, operating room nurse or a pediatric patient’s family can contribute. Medical R&D organizations can then run with the most promising ideas, innovate new technologies, and bring commercial products to market.”

The idea campaign can be accessed at  There is no cost to participate, and the online community has transparent access to post, view, vote and comment on ideas. The eight-week campaign will end on April 21. “We invite people to participate by posting and voting on ideas and building on input,” said Sandy Miller, director of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. “The simple act of voting will help the most popular concepts rise to the top. We are trying to garner insights and bridge communities around the world to bring solutions to children who need them.”

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people’s eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. It also works to prepare students to be innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers in the 21st century economy through initiatives designed to improve learning in math, engineering, science and technology. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow @KauffmanFDN on Twitter.

About PreBeta

PreBeta Inc. is an innovation services company based in Silicon Valley, Calif. It produces idea campaign solutions, conducts professional training and provides consulting based on practical and proven industry best practices for early stage innovation. PreBeta serves enterprises and organizations that desire to improve their in-house innovation capabilities. For more information call (408) 596-3835, or visit

About Brightidea

Brightidea is the market leader in On‐Demand Innovation Management. Over 300 businesses around the world use its Software‐as‐a‐Service suite to transform their  employee, partner and customer ideas into a reality. The Brightidea platform is a flexible, scalable, and standards‐based system that provides end‐to end tracking of the innovation process from concept through to realization. The company’s software has been successfully deployed at: Adobe, Bosch, Cisco, Harley‐Davidson, Experian, Emerson, British Telecom, Bristol‐Myers Squibb, Honeywell, among others. Founded in 1999, Brightidea is closely held and headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit


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