Impact Pediatric Health Announces Results of Start-Up Pitch Competition at SXSW 2019

Four Pediatric Device Start-ups Each Receive $25,000 in Funding; Additional Awards in Categories Including:

‘Health Disparities and Equity’ and ‘Digital Health’


Impact Pediatric Health, a one-of-a-kind pitch competition held annually at SXSW dedicated to showcasing and supporting the best pediatric healthcare innovations, announced the recipients of four $25,000 grants in the Pediatric Device category during their fifth annual event on Friday, March 9, 2019.

From the 50 pediatric device applications submitted, the Southwest National Pediatric Device Consortium (SWPDC) provided the funding to four pediatric device innovators to accelerate devices designed to improve the safety and delivery of pediatric care.

The companies receiving $25,000 in direct device funding include:

  • Smileyscope, Cambridge, MA, transforms scary pediatric procedures with virtual reality @smileyscope
  • Bardy Diagnostics, Seattle, WA, digital health and remote cardiac patient monitoring innovation @bardydx
  • Prapela, Boston, MA, helps newborns breathe, relax and sleep with SVS – a breakthrough technology @Prapelainfo
  • PolyVascular, Houston, TX, created pediatric polymeric transcatheter pulmonary valves @PolyVascular


“We were blown away by the level of talent and incredible innovation showcased at this year’s Impact Pediatric Health pitch competition,” said Dr. Chester Koh, Executive Director of SWPDC, pediatric urologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and professor of urology at Baylor College of Medicine. “At Impact Pediatric Health and SWPDC, we are always looking for the next cutting-edge breakthrough in the world of medical devices, and we are excited to stand beside these four companies and help accelerate the next generation of medical device companies impacting our youngest of patients.”

In addition to the Pediatric Devices category, the tech start-up applicants competed in the Digital Health and the Health Disparities and Equity categories.

Sound Scouts, a start-up out of Sydney, Australia providing accessible hearing checks for school-aged children, claimed the award in the Digital Health category, while  PolyVascular of Houston, Texas also received the Health Disparities and Equity award in addition to the $25,000 in funding.

Winners across each category and all participants benefited from the invaluable feedback from a host of industry experts serving as judges at the event, as well as from the sponsoring children’s hospitals.

Created by seven leading U.S. Children’s Hospitals including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Stanford Children’s Health and Texas Children’s Hospital, Impact Pediatric Health’s 2019 pitch competition was hosted by event emcee, Lisa Suennen, Managing Director of Manatt Health. 

The event featured judges representing each of the seven host children’s hospitals as well as Molly McCarthy MBA, RN-BC, National Director, US Provider Industry and Chief Nursing Officer at Microsoft; Bonnie Clipper, VP, Practice and Innovation, American Nurses Association; Peggy Maguire, President, Cambia Health Foundation, Andrew El Bardissi, Principal, Deerfield Management, and Stacy Feld, Vice President, Consumer Venture Investments & External Innovation, Johnson & Johnson.

Additional finalists included the following: InfraScan, Gravitas Medical, Vifant, LLC, BabyNoggin, KinChip Systems, Better Living Technologies, and Elemeno Health.

Southwest National Pediatric Device Consortium (SWPDC) is a multi-institutional consortium that includes clinical, scientific, business, financial, regulatory, reimbursement, engineering, intellectual property, and academic partners in the Houston / Southwest U.S. region. The consortium received a five-year, $6.75 million FDA P50 Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) grant to support innovation, mentoring, and collaborations amongst pediatric clinicians and surgeons, engineers, industry, and other partners for pediatric device development.  For more information, visit

To learn more about Impact Pediatric Health, visit