Research & Technology

Spectrum Health Innovations technology awarded biomedical grant to improve patient care

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich, April 5, 2019 – Spectrum Health Innovations’ technology was awarded a grant of $171,640 from the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization for Life Sciences (MTRAC) Innovation Hub, a $4 million commercialization-focused program co-funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), for its patient auto-slider.

Spectrum Health Innovations’ auto-slider allows one person to move a patient from one flat surface to another without risk for injury. Without the auto-slider four to eight people are needed to efficiently and safely move patients. The device also allows staff to perform the move using the same bed sheet that is always under the patient, regardless of bed, stretcher, etc. .

The auto-slider is one of 12 new biomedical ideas that emerged from research across Michigan and received funding that could help them make the leap from lab to patient care.

More than $2.5 million in funding has flowed to the teams developing these innovative life science concepts through MTRAC, which is co-managed by Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI—a unit of the U-M Medical School’s Office of Research) and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, with funding from U-M and the MEDC.

Technology from across the state were selected for funding by MTRAC’s Innovation Hub oversight committee to accelerate their paths to market, bringing them one step closer to ultimately helping patients and their families. In partnership with the MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation initiative, award recipients will receive mentoring and market and business development support, in addition to funding, through the MTRAC program.

Finalists for the funding — including teams from U-M, Beaumont Health, Michigan State University, Spectrum Health and Wayne State University — presented project proposals to the external MTRAC oversight committee at their annual meeting in downtown Ann Arbor in early January.

Those selected for funding range from an imaging system that provides instantaneous histology during colonoscopies to a device to help transport patients between beds to a cell therapy device for treating premature ovarian failure in young cancer patients. Award amounts range from $150,000 to $250,000 per project, supporting mid-stage product development activities that are critical steps on the path to market.

To see all the project award winners, click here.

Learn more about the program by clicking here.



Spectrum Health Innovations, LLC (SHI) helps lead new health solutions by helping Spectrum Health physicians and staff identify opportunities for innovation and develop and launch novel ideas. SHI focuses on the development and launch of promising new health care products and technologies, such as medical devices, surgical tools, nursing products, hospital equipment, therapy equipment and software. SHI aims to develop products and technologies can improve the quality of care at Spectrum Health, many of which may also have broader commercial potential and applicability to health care systems beyond Spectrum Health. Our team is comprised of professionals with deep experience in the development of new technologies and start-up companies. SHI also serves as Spectrum Health’s link to the greater entrepreneurial and product development community, collaborating with entrepreneurs, investors, product development firms, universities, business and technology incubators, software developers and attorneys.

People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Andrea Finnigan
Media Relations and Newsroom Web Manager
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