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Foundation for Health Advancement Awards Innovation Grant

To Stevens Researcher for Improving the Standard of Care for Tracheostomy


Foundation for Health Advancement (FHA) is excited to award an Innovation Grant to Sally Shady, Ph.D., Teaching Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology (“Stevens”). Dr. Shady is addressing the urgent need of detecting tracheostomy obstructions of non-ventilated pediatric patients.  Her “TrachAlert” project will use the Innovation Grant funding to further develop the design and features of the device as well as engage the prototypes in clinical trials across hospital networks.


This work will significantly help to advance the development of the device for optimal implementation into the current workflow for the treatment of non-ventilated tracheostomy patients. Dr. Shady’s device has the potential to detect an obstruction in a tracheostomy earlier than the current standard of care, possibly preventing oxygen deprivation and death.


Dr. Shady has an extensive background in the industry designing and developing medical devices. While she focuses her teaching to Stevens’ students on biomechanics, biomaterials, and medical device design, she is currently further expanding on her expertise for pediatric medical devices via the “TrachAlert” project. “When we first visited the pediatric population at a long-term care facility in NJ and learned about the mortality rates due to obstruction of the tracheostomy tubes, it became my mission to find a solution that would be minimally invasive, provide early detection and not interfere with the current tracheostomy technology. My team and I developed a wearable sensing system that detects decannulation and obstruction levels with precision. Our goal is to give health care providers a tool to assess their patients rapidly before irreversible damage occurs,” Dr. Shady noted.





About Foundation for Health Advancement

The Foundation for Health Advancement (FHA) is a Princeton, New Jersey based not-for-profit corporation that supports health-related research and education programs in New Jersey. FHA’s Innovation Grant Program was created to support early-stage technologies with strong market potential, for which additional proof-of-concept work, data collection, and/or prototyping could yield important information to make the technology more commercially attractive. These grants are available to researchers at FHA’s partner institutions which include Hackensack Meridian Health, Kessler Foundation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. FHA’s affiliate companies, New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) and Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG), also provide additional funding mechanisms to support New Jersey innovation.

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