IDea Incubator: Where are they now

Sai Dodda, BS and Chris Sleckman, MS, both of HIVE, a student-run biotech startup at Washington University in St. Louis were the 1st place winners of the 2019 IDea Incubator competition.

The 2019 winning innovation was a sensor that detects when and how long IV medication is connected to a patient’s peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line to measure patient adherence to OPAT. The data is then sent in real time to the patient’s home health agency to help them monitor use and intervene when patients are not compliant. It is estimated the device would prevent $2,000 in costs for every day of hospital readmission avoided.

The IDSA Foundation recently caught up with Sai Dodda, in an interview and discussed the competition and updates on their winning innovation.

IDSA Foundation: Tell us about your 1st place invention?

Sai Dodda: Our invention is a contact sensor that is placed on the patient’s PICC line and detects when and how long the patient administered their IV medication at home. This data is sent via Bluetooth to a secondary processing device (i.e. patient’s phone) and from there, the data is transmitted to a secure HIVE database for storage. The database can be accessed by healthcare providers and home health services to monitor medication adherence and aid in therapy decision making.

IDSA foundation: What did you enjoy most about the IDea Incubator competition?

Sai Dodda: We enjoyed the opportunity to receive feedback from the judges who are experts in their field. Moreover, the competition also enabled us to network with other professionals within the ID field who have provided us with great advice on the next steps of our product.

IDSA foundation: What advice would you give to those who are thinking about applying?

Sai Dodda: We encourage everyone that has a startup in the ID field to apply. Going through the application process to create the pitch deck really helps you get a grasp of your product and business plan. Moreover, presenting in front of an audience of ID professionals provides you the opportunity to network and increase awareness of your product.

IDSA foundation: Can you tell us any updates on your winning device?

Sai Dodda: So far, we have been able to file a non-provisional patent and refine our prototype. We are currently applying for an NIH STTR grant to help fund a clinical trial to test the efficacy and safety of our device.

We are now accepting applications for the 2020 IDea Incubator. Submit your IDea by the July 16th deadline.