LA Tech Updates: XPrize Offers Up $1.8M for Rapid Covid-19 Detection with CT Scans

Here are the latest updates on news affecting Los Angeles' startup and tech communities. Sign up for our newsletter and follow dot.LA on Twitter for more.

Today:

  • XPRIZE offers $1.5 grand prize to find better way to detect Covid-19 using CT scans

          XPRIZE offers $1.5 million for rapid Covid-19 detection via CT Scan

          media.defense.gov

          XPRIZE is offering a $1.5 million prize for the researchers that can provide the best protocol to rapidly detect COVID-19 with a CT scan, even in asymptomatic patients.

          The contest is part of the Culver-City based foundation's Pandemic Alliance created to hold competitions to fight coronavirus including one that called for fast and cheap Covid testing.

          CT scans - which provide a more detailed image inside the body than X-rays - are used to detect and monitor disease. The group hopes that it will provide a faster way to find early and even asymptomatic cases of the virus.

          "We can accelerate critical response efforts and identify breakthrough solutions using CT scans for earlier detection," said Amir Banifatemi, chief innovation and growth officer at XPRIZE in a statement. "Facing the COVID-19 crisis is proving to be one of the world's most critical challenges, as we currently rely on slow and invasive testing methods."

          The prize is offered in partnership with the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI).

          The teams wanting to participate will have until November 1st to sign up and have until November 15th as part of phase two to make any improvements after feedback. They will be tested on their COVID-19 detection, diagnosis, prediction and management of the treatment and will be selected based on which team has the greatest impact.

          "We need aggressive and bold actions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 to get ahead of the outbreak so that it is stopped. It will take the global community to accelerate how we meet these challenges," said Yaneer Bar-Yam, president and founder of the New England Complex Systems Institute in the announcing the contest.

          The judging phase and winners of the grand prize will be announced in January of 2021 with an additional $300,000 in bonus prizes. The total purse is $1.8 million.

          Although radiology protocols often take years to develop the collaborative hopes this competition will help radiologists have rapid results.

          Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

          Twenty years ago today Lt. Gen. Susan Helms arrived at the International Space Station where she would go on to carry out a historic mission.

          During a five-month stint at the station, she emerged to take a spacewalk with fellow astronaut Jim Voss that spanned nearly nine hours, breaking world records for both the longest spacewalk ever and the longest completed by a woman.

          Since then, she's been on another mission to inspire a new generation of aerospace pioneers and help them build their own legacy.

          Read more Show less

          On this week's episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Taj Eldridge talks about his newly-launched $250 million fund, Include Ventures aimed at Black and Brown founders and investors. The fund is part of VC Include, a platform that aims to accelerate investment into women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous and LGBTQ people.

          "Some of the founders I talked to have said they don't want to get funding just because they're Black, said Taj. "And my thing is, well, I've seen the opposite side of it. I've seen not getting money because I'm Black. So, you know, right now, let's just move things forward."

          Taj is passionate about reducing the wealth gap through Black and Brown ownership and continuing the work he does with Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), where he's the senior director for investment.

          "Don't invest in clean tech just because it is a moralistic issue or its future-proofing," he said. "As we've seen in what's happening in Texas now with the grid and everything else, It's a public health issue. It's an economic issue. It's a social issue."

          Read more Show less

          A 24-year-old unemployed college graduate frustrated by the tedious process of finding his grandmother a vaccine appointment created a new site to make it easier.

          Find My Vax LA translates appointment information to any language, searches for open slots by zip code and on Friday released a Twitter bot that alerts followers of availability.

          Andrew Friedman was hit with the same idea software engineers across the country have chased since public officials started distributing the COVID-19 shot.

          Read more Show less
          RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS

          Trending