2nd Patient Innovation Awards winners announcement


of the Winners of the
2nd Patient Innovation Awards

A statement from the Patient Innovation Advisory Board

"Patient Innovation (PI) empowers patients, caregivers, and collaborators by giving them a place where they can share their solutions. The PI Awards has been established to celebrate the innovators from our community who stood out with the impact and novelty of their solutions. In the first edition of PI Awards we had six winners. This year, we faced a new challenge of analyzing more than 300 new solutions and reward the ones who, although suffering, find the strength to overcome their health problems and innovate. That’s what is inspiring us all. We selected seven innovators for the 2nd edition of PI Awards. They win the laurels for innovating, sharing and improving lives while facing adversity and challenges."

Warm congratulations to all winners.
We’re proud of you.

And the Winners are

• • • Patient Innovation Category • • •

  • Michael Seres (UK)


    Crohn's disease



  • Michael Seres was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 12. After several surgeries, and intestinal failure, he underwent a small bowel transplant at The Churchill Hospital in Oxford. After an ileostomy he was given a stoma, in 2011, when he was 41, which is a surgical procedure where the small bowel is diverted through an opening in the abdomen. The opening is known as a stoma, from where his digestive content leave the body through a medical bag called ostomy bag. He had no control of the volume of output and when it happens. He had to learn to monitor the amount and consistency of his bowel movements. That’s how he came up with Ostom-i Alert: a sensor-based device that can be attached to any ostomy bag and is able to send messages via Bluetooth to a mobile app to warn the patient when his bag is close to being full. The device is approved by the Food and Drugs Administration as a Class 1 medical device, as well as Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approval in Britain and CE Mark that covers the rest of Europe.

    For more information, please consult the following link:


• • • Serial Patient Innovation Category • • •

  • Giesbert Nijhuis (Netherlands)


    Physical disability (Tetraplegia)


    1. How to take photos without using hands
    2. Bed computer
    3. LaesieCushion

  • Giesbert was 26 years old when he broke his neck at the cervical level (C3/C4) in a bus accident. He can only move his head. Giesbert was awarded in a new category – Serial Patient Innovation Award – due to the commitment devoted to diffuse his solutions and empower more patients with the same or similar condition. This innovator created his own website where he shares his knowledge and solutions to cope with his daily life problems, Laesieworks. Among several creations Giesbert developed, Patient Innovation highlights three fantastic do-it-yourself solutions: a digital camera-based system, which enables him to take photos without hands, a bed computer so Giesbert can work on his laptop while in bed and Laesiecushion, wheelchair cushions to prevent pressure wounds for wheelchair users.

  • For more information, please consult the following links:

• • • Caregiver Innovation Category• • •

  • David Day (UK)


    Cystic Fibrosis


    Computer games to help with Cystic Fibrosis

  • David Day thought that creating a game that demands respiratory exercise would be a good way of getting his daughter Alicia to interact and engage more with her physiotherapy. After he came up with the idea he asked his workmates at the University of Derby’s School of Mathematics and Computing to help him. Day and his team used university funding and European grants to develop a range of games that transformed the breathing exercises into something more fun. The games are played using a device that connects breathing tubes to the computer and his daughter suffering from cystic fibrosis can control characters and shapes on screen by exhaling at a certain pressure. This innovator is hoping to secure further funding to test the game on more children and eventually make it available to other parents.

    For more information, please consult the following link:

  • Doron Somer (Israel)





  • Doron Somer, from Israel, created AngelSense, a monitoring technological solution designed for children with special needs such as Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. His autistic son suffered mistreatment from a social worker, so Doron decided to find a way to monitor him. AngelSense is a personal GPS device designed specifically for special needs children, who often have sensory issues or compulsive behaviors that cause them to ditch other wearables. Parents and caregivers can keep track of their child also using AngelSense to share photos and information to get a holistic picture of the child’s daily activities.

    For more information, please consult the following link:

  • Kenneth Shinozuka (USA)


    Alzheimer’s disease



  • Kenneth is an American teen passionate about technology. This inventor’s grandfather suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. To prevent his grandfather from wandering alone at night and get lost, Kenneth created a wearable sensor designed to send an alert to a caregiver whenever a patient gets out of bed. SafeWander™ is a thin pressure-sensor that attaches to any piece of clothing and alerts the caregiver when the patient gets out of bed. The flexible film contains a wireless circuit about the size of a quarter. Via Bluetooth, it connects with a smartphone app (which Shinozuka also designed), setting off a sound.

    For more information, please consult the following link:

• • • Collaborator Innovation Category • • •

  • Pavel Kurbatsky (Russia)




    Walking Talking Stick

  • Pavel is a young Russian who worked as a volunteer in a care home for disabled children. Pavel developed this device because he thinks that blind people have a hard time moving around and living in an environment that is badly designed for them. This walking cane and "talking" dark glasses help blind people navigate through unknown environments. The cane contains sensors that can trace obstacles at three levels: the head, waist and feet. When a blind person approaches an obstacle, he or she gets a signal that something is nearby. A recorded voice tells how many steps ahead is the obstacle. The voice comes from earphones built in the glasses, which have a GPS system integrated.

    For more information, please consult the following link:

  • Duncan Fitzsimons (UK)


    Physical disability


    Morph™ Wheels

  • Duncan invented this solution when he was a graduate student at the Royal College of Arts in London. He was presenting folding wheels for bicycles in a roadshow when a wheelchair user approached and said: “Yes! This is the missing piece!”. The man told him his story and explained the difficulty for a wheelchair user to find a wheelchair for travelling by airplane. The wheelchair user asked him to help to adapt the same concept to wheelchairs. The Morph™ Wheels allows users to fold their wheelchair up into a much smaller, neater package, so it can fit into the overhead locker of an airplane, or the trunk of a car.

    For more information, please consult the following link:

The Pi Awards ceremony

November, 2016

Patient Innovation is a nonprofit, international, multilingual, free venue for patients and caregivers of any disease to share their innovations. PI is an initiative by Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics in collaboration with Instituto de Medicina Molecular.

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