The 2016 Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge

APRIL 8-9, 2016 — Hosted at the consortium of universities IN global health conference, san franciscO, and at uc berkeley



The inaugural Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge is funded by HealthRoots Foundation for Global Health, in partnership with UC Berkeley Center for Global Public Health, the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health and the Consortium of Universities in Global Health

The Challenge is proud to host an esteemed group of global health and development experts and private industry leaders on our final judging panel. Learn more. 

This Year's Finalists

We are proud to announce our ten finalist teams. Each team presented an innovative solution with the potential to improve health and save lives in a low-resource setting. On April 8 and 9, these teams will compete for the chance to win $10,000 in seed capital, as well as mentorship from a group of advisors drawn from the Bay Area academic, business and nonprofit community. 

Congratulations to Our Ten Finalist Teams!

Selected from a pool of over 80 applicant teams from all over the world, we are incredibly proud to welcome these ten teams to the Bay Area for the first-ever Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge. 

Join us on April 8 for the Semi-finals Showcase at UC Berkeley, from 5-8:30pm. Space is limited for this exciting event — RSVP below! 



Team Members: Sonya Davey, Divyansh Agarwal, Lindsey Fernandz, Alex Kubo, Neil Davey, Samir Devalaraja

Schools: University of Pennsylvania, Harvard College
SelfCerve is a low-cost self-administered screening device that identifies cervical cancer risk early and locates local aid. The device combines simple yet clinically-proven cancer-indicating methodology, with privacy and affordability; two luxuries previously unavailable to low- and middle-income countries that are home to over 80% of cervical cancer cases and deaths. With SelfCerve, one billion previously medically underserved women are empowered to identify risk early and find treatment.

Emmunify: Increase Vaccination Coverage via Mobile Technology

Team Members: Isheeta Madeka, Jessica Watterson (Advisors: Julia Walsh, Anandomoy Sen)

School: UC Berkeley

Emmunify effectively and efficiently tracks the status of each child, reminds clients of where and when vaccines are available, facilitates logistics and supply by aggregating utilization and supply data, and eliminates paper records. It holds multiple copies of each patient’s vaccination record - to ensure the data is not lost - in the cloud-based database and in an RFID sticker placed on the an an item that is always carried with the patient (i.e. cell phone).


Team Members: Jana Lim, Kimberly Souza, Vikram Chauhan, Lawrence Cai

School: Stanford University

HandHero is an innovative static progressive hand splint that provides young burn survivors access to critical physical therapy, empowering them to rebuild function and lead independent lives in a way currently not otherwise possible.

Mapping Application for Road Traffic Injury

Team Members: Biita Muhanuzi, David Petty, Stacy Salerno, Hussein Yakubu, Barclay Stewart

Schools: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Cape Town, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana), University of Washington

This is a mobile application that has the capacity to map crash event data provided by patients, families and police at emergency care facilities, and will include data from family members presenting to hospital mortuaries for death certificates. The app will allow map-based acquisition of location data from patients and families, and the associated database interface will allow GIS-based presentation and manipulation of the data to associate the event information with other geospatial and infrastructure data.


Team Members: Yuan Hao Wong, Gabriela Rodal, Joe Hakim, Paola Donis, Justin Yan, Yu Zhang, Daniel Huang, Tam Thanitcul

School: Johns Hopkins University

NeoSED is a home-­based sepsis risk detection system that analyzes heart rate characteristics and patient history information to output a highly sensitive sepsis risk score. The proposed system consists of two components. The first relies on an interactive voice response for CHWs to perform on their mobile devices. This allows relevant patient history information such as birth weight and gestation period to be recorded on a centralized processing unit at a local health center. The second component involves the use of a basic pulse sensor to record a neonate’s heart rate characteristics. The same sensor has an audio jack which can transfer recorded data into a parent’s mobile phone for transmission via text messaging.

Project: Kiguzo

Team Members: Max Ritzenberg

School: UCSF

Kiguzo aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality of primary schoolchildren in Africa while increasing school attendance rates through improved absence tracking and follow-up.  Our mission is to provide schools, communities and clinics with the technologic and educational tools to better understand and address the disease and social burdens in their community that are leading to school absences.  The technology takes this one step farther and facilitates prompt follow-up of sick or injured children.

SurgiSun: A Surgical Light for the Developing World

Team Members: Neha Kumar*, Amy Lyden, Alexander Runke

School: UC Berkeley

There is currently an unmet need for surgical lighting systems in hospital clinics in the developing world. SurgiSun is a functional device that can be integrated into the central illuminance. SurgiSun is equipped with two 15W flood LED lights to provide 40000 lux of shadowless, cool white lighting. A bed clamp design enables the light to be fixed to a surgical bed rail, ensuring minimal interference, portability, and ease of installation. Gooseneck flex arms with sterile handles allow for light adjustability during surgery. A surge-protected electrical plug with a back-up battery can be relied on during power outages. The prototype is compatible with a variety of batteries, such as a lead-acid or car battery, providing flexibility and lowering cost. At 40 hours/week of use, SurgiSun is expected to last ten years.


Team Members: Elizabeth Frank, Gabrielle Wimer, Joyce Lu

Schools: University of Chicago

MealFlour addresses the problems of malnutrition and unemployment through an environmentally sustainable social enterprise. Our model upcycles scrap and household materials to build space-efficient mealworm farms, processes mealworms into a nutritious powder, and sells this product to local bakeries and other community members.

A novel intra-nasal air purification device with minimal air-flow resistance

Team Members: Harsh Sheth, Shashi Ranjan, Debayan Saha

School: Stanford-India Biodesign, Stanford University & All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi

This is an endo-nasal air purification device, which would comfortably hide in nostrils, purifying air with high efficiency (comparable to gold standard) without offering significant resistance to breathing. The device would use a novel technology for capturing pollutants while air interacts with a unique pollutant-capturing material. The design would ensure maximal interaction of air with such material, with minimal air-flow resistance. It would not only trap deadly particulate matters (PM10, PM2.5, PM1), but also harmful gases.

VIRA: A Limited-Resource Viral Quantification Platform

Team Members: Christopher Yin, Neel Parekh, Yajur Makur, Orysya Stus

School: UC San Diego

VIRA, a low-cost system for point-of-care quantification of viral load. The core feature of VIRA is a genetic circuit-based test that colorimetrically indicates the concentration of HIV virus in a patient’s blood plasma. While our genetic circuit is a novel venture into synthetic biology, it is based on the research of Pardee et al., who demonstrated the functionality of a similar circuit to detect Ebola RNA. The ability of our circuit to be run with low reagent volumes and to be freeze-dried onto paper results in a cheap, temperature-stable diagnostic suitable for implementation in settings where few resources, limited personnel, and significant time delays are barriers to regular viral load monitoring.