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BioME Virtual Coffee Hour: Medical Devices

March 7, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0

Join us for a casual “learn and connect” virtually on March 7th from 10-11am.

Hear from Maine scientists and life science professionals to learn about the medical device sector within Maine’s life sciences industry. Speakers will introduce their companies, medical devices share information on attaining FDA approval.

March’s Coffee Hour will feature Dr. Jeffrey Halter (Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center), John Konsin (Prapela, Inc.), Dr. Marie Hayes (Activas Diagnostics, LLC) and Derek McKenney (Puritan Medical Products). Presentations will be followed by Q&A and the audience will have a chance to connect with the speakers and each other.

The goal of this series is to virtually connect Maine’s life science community and educate attendees about what companies and individuals are doing to advance the life sciences industry in Maine.


Jeffrey Halter, MD, Pediatric Surgeon, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center

Dr. Jeffrey Halter is a pediatric surgeon at Maine Medical Center/Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine since 2008. He graduated from Florida State University in 1994, and University of Miami medical school in 1999. He completed general surgery training and a research fellowship in 2006 at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, and pediatric surgery fellowship training in 2008 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital at Ohio State University.

John Konsin, Co-Founder & CEO, Prapela, Inc.

John is the Co-founder and CEO of Prapela, Inc., a company introducing the first mattress to help babies breathe. Previously, John led or assisted in the launch of over 100 new medical devices while working at 5 of the largest life science companies in the World. Asked by Harvard’s Wyss Institute to assess a novel device, he was struck by its ability to help babies breathe, especially opioid-exposed newborns. Touched by family & friends struggling with addiction, John decided to license the technology and create Prapela. At Prapela, he has raised $4.64M in non-dilutive funding and secured three NIH grants and two FDA breakthrough device designations. Prapela aims to help every baby breathe better, starting in hospitals and later in homes. John holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University an MBA from the University of Colorado and attended Executive Education courses at INSEAD.

Marie Hayes, PhD, Co-Founder, Activas Diagnostics, LLC

Marie Hayes, Ph.D. and Ali Abedi, Ph.D. are co-founders of Activas Diagnostics, LLC which began in 2010 with our Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) award and principal investigators of an NIH Phase II SBIR award (2018-2021) to develop a new sleep device system to identify atypical patterns in early Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementia (ADRD). Activas Diagnostics’ first product is an “under the sheets” mattress system that will innovate neurotechnology for home sleep monitoring. Our value proposition is based on our recent study of 100 aging persons with and without early AD. In over 200 nights of sleep recording in the home, we determined AD risk based on arousal system irregularities detected in periodic microstructural movements impaired in AD. Using AI, we have identified a time signature of this process that can classify patients with early AD, or mild cognitive impairment. The marketing potential of our sleep device is supported by Activas’ NIH using AI algorithms and has been designated a de novo device system by the FDA with a developed regulatory path. Activas Diagnostics, LLC has assembled an exceptional and committed commercial and medical device business development team, hardware/software manufacturing contracts and a pivot commercial digital device business model. Our scale up commercialization funding is bridged by NIH support for manufacturing, product testing and regulatory needs. Sustainability through dilutive fund raising is in the near future.

Derek McKenney, Director of Engineering, Puritan Medical Products Co.

Derek McKenney is the Director of Engineering at Puritan Medical Products. McKenney graduated from the University of Maine in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. During his time at UMaine, McKenney held a summer internship position at Puritan between 2011 to 2013. In 2016, he joined Puritan full-time and as a second-generation employee of Puritan Medical Products. In his current role, McKenney works to ensure constant improvement and innovation in Puritan’s products as well as manage facility upgrades, machinery builds and new product manufacturing.

BioME Sponsors


March 7, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0


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