Press Release: Shift Labs Wins Global Health Innovator Award Recognizing Innovative IV Infusion Tech

Download PDF

Shift Labs Wins Global Health Innovator Award Recognizing Innovative IV Infusion Technology

Leading medtech industry groups launch a new initiative and award to accelerate innovation of affordable, appropriate solutions for resource-constrained global markets.

SEATTLE, WA – Shift Labs, Inc., a Seattle-based company building simple medical devices to reduce global healthcare gaps, announced that it has received the 2017 Global Health Innovator Award presented at this year’s The MedTech Conference powered by AdvaMed in San Jose, CA.

The Global Health Innovator Award was created as a part of the new Innovations in Global Health Program at The MedTech Conference, aimed at identifying ways to accelerate innovation and support the deployment of affordable and appropriate medical technologies in the developing world. While innovative medical technologies have the potential to impact the lives of patients and healthcare workers worldwide, significant barriers keep many resource- constrained populations from accessing these technologies.

The $50,000 award, given in partnership by TEAMFund and MedTech Innovator with support from medtech leaders BD, Medtronic, and Stryker, recognizes an early stage medical company that has a novel, appropriate and sustainable medical device for the world’s resource- constrained populations.

“This is the inaugural year for this award, and it represents a significant step forward in work towards health equity,” said Beth Kolko, CEO of Shift Labs. “Being a part of the MedTech Innovator program brought Shift Labs to the attention of TEAMFund, which has helped catalyze a movement and provide unparalleled leadership in raising awareness of the tremendous impact the medtech industry can have on global health indicators. As an industry, we need to take a serious look at the market opportunity and be bold in how we create technologies for those markets.”

Shift Labs created its DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor to address a key gap in care worldwide – the need for better ways to administer IV infusions. Over 8 million unmonitored IV treatments are given every day. Without the right tools to ensure accuracy, clinicians are forced to count drops by hand and estimate drug dosage. This means that children, mothers in labor, surgery patients and other vulnerable patients constantly receive the wrong dose of medications.

DripAssist makes it possible for any health worker to easily set up IV infusions and precisely monitor the rate at which medication or fluids are delivered. Designed to overcome the constraints of low-resource settings – such as cost and gaps in infrastructure, clinician training and supply chains – DripAssist is the only FDA-cleared, CE-marked IV infusion tool that is portable, runs off one AA battery, and takes about 5 minutes to learn. DripAssist has been used in over two dozen countries to date, everywhere from rural Zimbabwe hospitals to chemotherapy centers in the US.

Kolko added, “As an organization, Shift Labs is honored to receive this award, and we’re exceptionally excited because the TEAMFund initiative aligns so well with our vision of creating sustainable medical devices that fit the needs of many markets worldwide. The award marks a new level of recognition from experienced industry leaders for our DripAssist product – but we’re perhaps even more enthusiastic about the increasing momentum in the medical device industry that sees how great design can close persistent healthcare gaps.”

Kolko, a Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, is a proponent of human centered design as a technology development methodology to create products with global appeal. Shift Labs incorporates human centered approaches throughout their product design and corporate strategy in order to meet healthcare needs of broad populations worldwide.

About Shift Labs

Shift Labs, Inc. is a Seattle-based company that creates well-designed medical devices for fast- growing healthcare sectors, from specialty health care in the US to clinical care in emerging markets. The DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor is their first FDA-cleared, CE-marked product and has previously been recognized as one of Popular Science Magazine’s 12 Best Healthcare Innovations of 2016, as well as receiving a Silver medal from the Industrial Designers Society of America IDEA awards and a grant from USAID as part of the Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge. Learn more at

About TEAMFund

TEAMFund (Transforming Equity and Access in Medtech) is an organization that combines a non-profit and an impact fund, with a shared aim to expand access to affordable, appropriate and sustainable medical technologies that address unmet health needs in the world’s most resource constrained populations. TEAMFund is co-founded and co-chaired by Timothy Ring, CEO of Bard, and Kathryn Gleason, and counts among their members the leading MedTech companies worldwide.

About MedTech Innovator

MedTech Innovator is the industry’s nonprofit global competition and accelerator for medical device, digital health and diagnostic companies. Our mission is to improve the lives of patients by accelerating the growth of companies that are transforming the healthcare system. MedTech Innovator 2017 features 100 companies that address one or more of the transformative themes identified in an annual survey of leading manufacturers and providers.

Inquiries: Contact CEO Beth Kolko,, or CTO Koji Intlekofer, at +1 206.369.1216.