Recipients of the 2022 President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC) Award were announced in a ceremony in early May. The event brought together an audience of over 2,000 viewers from 64 countries. The PIC program funds Harvard student, alumni, and affiliate innovations through funding from the Bertarelli Foundation. Throughout the seven-month process, teams developed their ventures with robust support from the Harvard Innovation Labs. This year’s winners include Christina Glover (MDes ’19) and Alex Berkowitz (MLA I ’23).
Christina Glover and Kristin Nuckols, a collaborator from the School of Engineering and Applied Studies, created a robot-assisted virtual clinic that restores hand function to stroke survivors. They describe Imago Rehab as “transforming the post-stroke standard of care by bringing evidence-based, high-intensity rehabilitation into the home. Their robot-assisted virtual clinic enables superior hand recovery for the five million stroke survivors in the U.S. with lasting hand impairment. Telerehab eliminates travel burdens to allow greater access to care, while a wearable robotic glove facilitates daily, high-repetition hand rehab from the comfort of home. This digital health solution results in better outcomes and increased independence as chronic stroke survivors are able to use their hand again for the first time since their stroke.”
Alex Berkowitz’s project, “Coastal Protection Solutions,” is an initiative to mitigate coastal flooding through two systems. The first, “The Wavebreaker,” works as a wave speed bump, decreasing wave velocity to the shore and reducing damage to residential and commercial property. The second is an artificial floating marsh system that builds the coastline up and outward to protect the shoreline from the threat of sea-level rise and storm surge.