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Handheld medical device named Next Big Thing


The winners of Innovic’s International Next Big Thing Award, which identifies innovative products with the potential to change the world, were announced last Friday.

The Handheld Medical Diagnostic System took out the overall gong. Developed by Victorian inventor Micah Atkin, the system offers a low-cost testing system that enables anyone to perform laboratory-quality tests quickly and easily. The handheld system will be first applied as a test for tuberculosis, a disease that still kills over two million people each year and is the leading cause of infectious disease deaths.

Commenting on the Award judging process, Joss Evans, CEO of INNOVIC, said: “All of the 25 finalists were impressive and selecting an overall winner was extremely difficult.  However, our judges particularly liked the handheld medical diagnostic system because it is an elegant, relatively simple and low cost solution to a major global problem. It clearly has great potential to become the next big thing.”
Other category winners in 2009 are:

Social/Community Benefit:

Fermiscan Breast Cancer Test. A new test using synchrotron-generated x-ray diffraction to detect the presence of breast cancer created by Professor Veronica James, with Sydney company Fermiscan bringing the invention to its final prototype.

Innovation Excellence:

Gigabit Wireless Transceiver on CMOS: A high-speed, low-cost chip that facilitates short range multi-gigabit transfer of data wirelessly, created by Victorian inventor Professor Stan Skafidis.


Creative Water Technology: Created by Victorian inventor Stephen Shelly to clean waste water with contaminant levels of more than 300,000ppm.

International Winner:

360 Paper Water Bottle. New York designer and inventor Jim Warner created a water bottle literally made from paper.

People’s Choice Winner:

VideoTrace: A program that interactively generates realistic 3D models of objects from video created by Dr Anton van den Hengel, Director of the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies at the University of Adelaide.

Also recognised was 20-year-old Victorian dance student Alya Manzart, who has been highly commended in this year’s awards for the Bamboo de-brancher, a machine that safely removes the sideways shoots from bamboo.

Read about all 25 finalists in this year’s competition here.