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Seven area startups working in Upstate’s medical device innovation challenge

By Eric Reinhardt


Upstate MIND is sponsoring the “medical device innovation challenge” at the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) at Upstate Medical University. The CNYBAC is located at 841 E. Fayette St. in Syracuse. Seven startups with medical devices and service proposals will participate in the program. MIND is short for “medical innovation and novel discovery center.”

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Seven startups with medical devices and service proposals are participating in what’s being called the “medical device innovation challenge.”

Upstate MIND is sponsoring the program at the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) at Upstate Medical University. The CNYBAC is located at 841 E. Fayette St. in Syracuse.

MIND is short for “medical innovation and novel discovery center,” Upstate Medical University said in a news release issued July 18.

The devices and service proposals include a heat sleeve designed for limb amputees, an at-home glaucoma measurement test, and a personal health and wellness messaging system.

Participants in the “medical device innovation challenge” get six months of rent-free space at the CNYBAC and use of the Upstate MIND “creation garage,” a space equipped with technology, such as 3D printers, to go from idea to prototype. 

The program will also provide free consultations with business experts on how to pitch their products to gain further funding, navigate the regulatory environment, and produce data to help assess product marketability.

Additionally, the participants also get free admittance to business-related workshops, including the upcoming medical device concept-to-commercialization boot camp, Upstate Medical said. 

“We anticipate that at the end of the program, these start-ups will have determined if their medical device products or services have the commercialized viability, plans and prototype to move into the commercialization stage,” Robert Corona, VP for innovation and business development at the CNYBAC, said in the release.

Upstate Medical University provided the following descriptions of the seven startups.

Costello Prosthetic Warmers 

This medical-device startup was founded by Bryan Costello, a lower-leg amputee who invented its first product, the Costello Heatsleeve. 

The Costello Heatsleeve is based on a patented technology that applies therapeutic heat to the amputee’s stump as well as the prosthesis in order to ease pain and make the prosthesis “more comfortable for the wearer.” 


This startup designs and manufactures fluorescent medical devices for use in surgery and other procedures. 

These devices allow physicians to “better visualize” critical anatomic structures and can improve patient safety, enhance surgical efficiency, and reduce costs. 

ISEE Loyal Tech

This is a startup that seeks to design, patent, and market ophthalmological devices that make a “meaningful difference” in a patient’s life. 

ISEE’s primary focus is around glaucoma prevention and treatment. 

The technology helps glaucoma patients by providing a home-use medical device with data-transfer service. 

The device enables real-time, eye-pressure measurement and eye-pressure data tracking. 


The firm is working on its pill-safe system, which is a business-to-business platform for physicians, health-insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, health-care facilities, government agencies, and law enforcement.

The platform is aimed at “combating and reducing” costs associated with prescription-drug abuse, patient non-adherence, overdose, under-dose, and prescription-drug trafficking. 

One Stone Technology LLC 

The startup is seeking options to support “sustained behavior modification to improve health and wellness.” 

One product is a patient engagement/messaging platform that supports “directcommunication” between patients and subscribers and their clinical team or health coach. The objective is to “improve health outcomes” by providing timely, personalized messaging that “enhances an individual’s knowledge, motivation and confidence” in managing their health. 

Harris Skeele Corp. 

The firm (also known as Simpler Links) is a medical-device startup founded by two nurses with a focus on contributing to the reduction of “catheter associated urinary tract infections” or CAUTIs.

They have evolved the Foley catheter-securement device into one that can track “dwell time.” 

A Foley catheter is a sterile thin tube used to drain the bladder of urine for a period of time called dwell time. 

This patent-pending device is called “safe dwell GU.” Losing track of Foley catheter dwell time is a “major contributor” to urinary-tract infections in hospitals. 

The team is “hoping” its device can play a role in preventing this issue. 

Superlative BioSciences Corp.

It is a biosciences product and service company that plans to develop, validate, and market its stem cellular toxicology service — a system of medical device in vitro diagnostics in the field of human developmental toxicology that uses human umbilical cord and placental stem cells in tissue culture instead of animals. 

The service will be able to determine what adverse developmental effects may result from chemical exposure (hazard identification) and at what level of exposure these effects occur (exposure/dose–response relationships).