VitalFlo Wins $150,000 First Prize in CIMIT Competition

September 29, 2014

NC State's "VitalFlo" project led by ECE alumnus (BS EE 2010) -- and current ECE graduate assistant --  James Dieffenderfer has won the first prize of $150,000 from the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT)'s Student Technology Prize in Primary Healthcare competition.

VitalFlo's project focuses on developing a very low-cost, compact, handheld spirometer, with high dynamic range, that communicates to a cell phone and server to enable an ecosystem for patient, caregiver, and physician to collaborate in the management of asthma or COPD. VitalFlo 


The 5th Annual Student Technology Prize in Primary Healthcare -- administered under the auspices of the   Massachusetts General Hospital's "Ambulatory Practice of the Future" (APF), assisted by Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), and sponsored by the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust-is a $400,000 competition for engineering student to help advance their winning clinically-relevant, primary care solutions.

For this competition, "technologies of particular interest are ones that could improve access to medical care, leverage the skills of caregivers, automate routine tasks, increase workflow efficiency, support patients with chronic disease, increase compliance with care protocols, reduce medical error, or augment the physician-patient relationship."Dieffenderfer demonstrates their device. 
Dieffenderfer demonstrates their device.

The VitalFlo project grew out of an NCSU ASSIST sponsored project in the NC State Product Innovation Lab course co-taught by MBA, Design and Engineering professors -- including John Muth, Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, the project's mentor -- which brings MBA, Engineering and Industrial Design Students together to work on product ideas.

The prize will be administered by the university, but is free to be spend in anyway consistent with the project goals. James Dieffenderfer is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering while continuing to perform research within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

In October 2013, the VitalFlo team made the news by also winning the "Create the Future Design Contest" sponsored by the NASA Tech Briefs.