A simple solution to a long standing problem in the medical services industry captured first place in this year's Asper Center for Entrepreneurship's BIZTEC competition, held earlier this month at Hebrew University.
BIZTEC, which judges entries both on the creativity of their business idea and the professionalism of the business plan, had more than 150 entries in this year's competition and awarded the NIS 12,500 first prize to AuxiMed, a company whose mission is to produce a disposable backboard that is inexpensive and rigorous enough to fit the needs of emergency medical services (EMS) while providing an unparalleled level of patient comfort and safety.
According to AuxiMed, a team comprised of Danny Gigi, a Hebrew University MBA student, Orahn Preiss-Bloom, a Biomedical student at the Technion, Eytan Yammer, a licensed paramedic and Barak Shesh, their disposable backboards will be thinner and lighter than conventional wooden or hard plastic backboards, yet will still be extremely strong and durable.
"(Traditional) boards require complete decontamination before use, causing ambulances to wait idly to be re-supplied and poorly cleansed boards can carry pathogens," said AuxiMed. "Disposable boards do not require decontamination and many more can fit into an ambulance."
Additionally, the company noted in its business plan that dangerous levels of stress from interface pressure placed on a patient lying on a wooden or hard plastic backboard can cause tissue damage, something AuxiMed's product avoids as the one-time-use padding conforms to the body, providing even support.
AuxiMed's backboards will be manufactured from waterproofed, tri-wall corrugated cardboard, have aluminum frame handles, plastic foam padding and nylon straps.
The company is currently gearing up for production of a prototype and is looking for investors before they can launch the product and build a manufacturing facility, objectives they believe will be reached sometime in 2009.
"We have had interest in our product and a lot of people think its a good idea and now we are in the process of procuring funding from individual investors as well as from the Chief Scientist's Office," said Gigi.