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2020 Innovation Challenge Winners


Three Lakes Foundation and MATTER announce the winners of the 2020 Innovation Challenge for Pulmonary Fibrosis

CHICAGO, November 30, 2020 — Three Lakes Foundation and incubator hub MATTER announced the four winners of an Innovation Challenge intended to accelerate new solutions in diagnosing, treating and managing pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a devastating lung disease. The winners will each receive a monetary award and will take the necessary steps to bring their solution closer to reality.

The first-place award was given to OxyGEN, a medtech venture out of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Their solution is a novel, portable oxygen concentrator that tracks, monitors and automatically adjusts the oxygen level for each patient, improving mobility and quality of life.

Physician-researcher Sydney Montesi, MD received the second-place award for her innovative solution to detect changes in the lungs before significant damage occurs, using positron emission tomography (PET). RecoverX received the third-place award. The startup demonstrated how a new diagnostic tool can apply artificial intelligence and evidence-based data to accurately accelerate improving time to diagnosis. Finally, attendees selected Adair Health for the People’s Choice award. Their portable, “tricorder-style” hand-held device has the ability to measure more than 10 vitals in just 30 seconds.

PF occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. Over time the scar tissues destroy the lung, making it harder for patients to breathe and for oxygen to enter the bloodstream. Approximately 40,000-50,000 people each year are diagnosed with PF and 40,000 die annually.

“The greatest challenge facing patients in the PF community is the lack of disease awareness and treatment options,” said Dana Ball, executive director for the foundation. “Three Lakes Foundation is committed to increasing awareness of PF and developing innovative approaches to accelerating much needed solutions to improve patient quality of life and survival.”

“People living with pulmonary fibrosis today — and those who will be diagnosed in the years ahead — need new technologies that can speed up diagnosis and improve their lives,” added Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “I’m delighted we could find these winning companies and look forward to helping them bring their innovations to reality for the patients who need them most.”

Out of 49 submissions, 12 were selected as finalists who participated in a “Shark Tank” style pitch presentation via Zoom. The finalists included innovators from Israel, Australia, India, Turkey and parts of the U.S.

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) also participated in the 2020 PF Innovation Challenge providing guidance during the challenge.

“We’re proud to participate in the 2020 PF Innovation Challenge,” said William T. Schmidt, PFF president and CEO. “It’s impressive to see the passion and dedication these finalists brought to the Challenge. Together, there is no goal unreachable, and someday, a cure for PF will become a reality.”

Dedicated to serving as a catalyst for change in the PF community, Three Lakes Foundation plans to continue their new relationships with the Innovation Challenge winners to monitor progress and impact. For more information about the PF Innovation Challenge and the 2020 winners, visit the website:

About Three Lakes Foundation

Three Lakes Foundation (TLF) is a nonprofit dedicated to serving as a catalyst for uniting research, industries, and philanthropy in pulmonary fibrosis. We connect entrepreneurs, advocates and institutions to an innovation ecosystem that will transform our approach to improve time to diagnosis and accelerate new therapies. To learn more, visit

About MATTER At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 200 cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit ​​ and follow @MATTERhealth.



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