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Did you know that medical devices designed for children lag well behind adult technologies? To speed up pediatric medical device research and development for the youngest patients, the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation recently made its first gift to the University of California San Francisco-Stanford Pediatric Device Consortium (PDC).
The PDC brings together two top Bay Area children’s hospitals and universities to offer financial support, coaching, and connections to help guide health innovators in taking pediatric devices to market—and to the children who need them most. In particular, the PDC’s Pediatric Accelerator Program is focused on commercializing promising pediatric device ideas. During its annual pitch competition, innovators compete to receive advising, prototyping assistance, and commercialization coaching by PDC and industry experts up to $100,000 in seed funding.
For example, a team of pediatric innovators noticed a huge disparity in how catheters are secured in adults compared to infants. Previously, the best practice for nurses in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) was using tape to secure their tiny patients’ umbilical cord catheters. Meanwhile, on the adult side, nurses were using a much safer and standard protocol. The need for a better device for NICU babies was clear. A team of innovators, with assistance from the PDC, created LifeBubble, which directly addresses this need for safe, sterile, effective, and standard care for catheters in NICU babies—not only at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford but at hospitals across the country.
This is just one of the many products that the PDC supports every year. The PDC fills a void left by industry, which has shied away from pediatric devices due to smaller market size and the perception of high regulatory risk. In fact, industry spends more money to develop technologies that address the last month of life rather than on technologies that can transform a lifetime.
The PDC is funded by the FDA but also relies on support from generous donors like the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation. Established in 1998 by Research Corporation Technologies, the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation provides financial support for scientific research and educational programs at qualified nonprofit organizations.
Thanks to the $900,000 gift from the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation, the PDC can support even more promising projects, bringing the most innovative technologies to our youngest, most vulnerable patients.