NIBIB Plans to Announce a Prize Competition: NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge: Non-invasive Diagnostic Technologies for Global Health

Notice Number: NOT-EB-20-001

Key Dates
Release Date: January 31, 2020
Estimated Competition Opening Date: March 2, 2020
Estimated Competition Closing Date: July 2, 2020

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)


The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering intends to publish a Prize Competition Announcement to solicit entries for the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge: Non-invasive Diagnostic Technologies for Global Health. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting the bioengineering competition to spur the design and development of non-invasive, handheld, digital diagnostic devices that will target anemia, sickle cell disease, malaria, and other blood-related diseases.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential entrants sufficient time to form multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions to submit to the competition.

The Announcement is expected to be published February 2020 with an expected submission window from March 2, 2020 through July 2, 2020.

NIBIB intends to award cash prizes for the challenge competition. In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will consider winners and honorable mentions identified through this challenge for potential follow-on support to accelerate development of the proposed device for global health settings.


Non-invasive Diagnostic Technologies for Global Health

Diagnostics are key to providing treatment for some of the world’s highest-burden diseases. While diagnostics currently exist for sickle cell disease, malaria and anemia, they are not practical for low-resource settings, particularly at the population level, due to high cost, invasiveness and the expertise required to administer the tests. The ready availability of a low cost, rapid, reliable platform for blood-related diseases would enable unprecedented community-level screening, monitoring and treatment. Identification and treatment of these disorders would be especially valuable for reducing the world-wide burden of these diseases.

This challenge seeks designs for non-invasive technology platforms to diagnose sickle cell disease, malaria, and anemia. While not constrained to any specific technology, the inspiration for this challenge comes from the widespread availability of mobile phones and the potential for mobile phone-linked sensor technologies to non-invasively detect changes in the blood and vasculature associated with these treatable diseases. Teams can submit a solution that includes data supporting the feasibility of the proposed device design and a plan for translating the device for use in global health settings.

Prize Competition Details

Participants will present a design and initial feasibility data or references for a non-invasive diagnostic platform to address two diseases in the vasculature (at least one of which must be sickle cell, malaria, or anemia). The technology design must describe both the biological principle of the test and measurement approach. Participants may share data collected on prototypes (if available) and evidence or feasibility data that de-risk elements of the test and the device. In addition, participants should present a description of the path for translation of the technology to global health use cases and how the technology will need to develop further to reduce cost and be suitable for field use.

The challenge announcement will be posted on and websites. A participant or team will be able to submit an entry for the Challenge by registering at and following the links and instructions to certify that the entry meets all the Challenge rules and to submit the entry.

NIBIB intends to conduct this challenge under the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Reauthorization Act of 2010, as amended [15 U.S.C. § 3719].



Please direct all inquiries to:

Tiffani Bailey Lash, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Telephone: 301-451-4778
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