OHSU medical student wins second place in the AMA Healthier Nation Innovation Challenge

June 14, 2016

LIGHT LINE catheterOHSU student Mitch Barneck, MS4, won second place at the AMA Healthier Nation Innovation Challenge, held in Chicago, for a visible spectrum light sterilized catheter that has the potential to significantly reduce catheter-associated infections. 

While an undergraduate bioengineering student at the University of Utah, Barneck and his student colleagues developed the bacteria-killing catheter, called the LIGHT LINE Catheter™, which uses high-intensity narrow spectrum light to sterilize indwelling catheter sites. The student-run company formed by Barneck and others, Veritas Medical, has previously won numerous awards and competitions and has raised nearly $500,000 including a grant from the National Science Foundation I-CORPS program, NASA, as well as a prize from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

The AMA challenge, which kicked off in April, asked physicians, residents and medical students across the country to share their innovative solutions for improving the health of the nation. The submissions were required to answer one of the following questions:

  • Making technology work for learning: What innovation would help transform physician education?
  • Advancing digital health: What innovation would help patients live longer, healthier lives?
  • Evolving digital medicine: What innovation would help physicians improve their practice?
Judging was based on clinical benefit, feasibility, innovativeness, fundability and scalability.

Barneck and colleagues took second place out of 117 entries from physicians, residents and medical students across the nation. Each winning team received a share of $50,000 in prizes, as well as access to the AMA's network of accelerator and entrepreneurship partners.

Looking forward, Barneck intends to proceed with regulatory clearance through the FDA/CE. Clinical trials using the Foley catheter model are set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016 in the University of Utah Burn Center and the first quarter of 2017 at the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Intermountain Medical Center.  Read more about Barneck's work and see other AMA winners at https://www.innovatewithama.com/ 


AMA Awards Best New Ideas for Creating a Healthier Nation

Mitch Barneck, MS2, and the fight to end catheter-born infections