Big Ideas Winner, Tabla, Wins Fast Company’s Innovation Award

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Tabla – the Grand Prize winner of  last year’s Rudd Family Foundation Big Ideas Contest— was announced today as one of fourteen winners to receive Fast Company’s 2017 Innovation by Design Awards from 2,500 submissions worldwide. The device, engineered to more affordably and easily diagnose pneumonia, was honored as one of the most innovative and disruptive design solutions created to solve today’s most challenging business issues.

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 8.30.53 AMThe Tabla team began developing the technology last fall in a class offered by the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation to offer a more inexpensive and precise means of diagnosing pneumonia, the leading cause of death for children under the age of five. The team consists of of Adam Rao (joint MD student at UC San Francisco and bioengineering PhD student at UC Berkeley), Jorge Ruiz and Chen Bao (both UC Berkeley M.Eng students). Over the course of a year, the team developed a technology that provides an order of magnitude improvement on portability, accessibility and cost over the current gold standard of chest x-ray.

Then, the team entered the Big Ideas@Berkeley Contest — and Tabla took home several of Big Ideas’ top accolades. They won 1st Place in the Autodesk Foundation-sponsored Hardware for Good category, and were also the top winner at Grand Prize Pitch Day, receiving $15,000 in prizes for their venture. The financial support from Big Ideas was only part of the benefits of participating in Big Ideas. “The mentorship and feedback from Big Ideas during Tabla’s early stage development pushed us to consider different stakeholders for the device which influenced our design decisions,” says Team Lead Adam Rao.

Moving forward, the team imagines the device to be utilized for patients in areas affected by high rates of pneumonia with limited access to medical care, such as South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Learn more about Tabla here: