Vin Cardillo

 17,128

The Billion Dentures Project

Millions of people go without teeth. Let's do something about it.
stage:
Closed
prize:
$15,000
Overview

Challenge Overview

This challenge is closed for submissions

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The Problem

Millions of people worldwide are edentulous, meaning they are missing all of their teeth. This leads to significant health and nutrition problems. Dentures could vastly improve the lives of edentulous people, but the cost of dentures and access to a dentist is far out of reach for many.

This is a big problem.

It is estimated that in the industrial world alone, more than 240 million people lack one or more teeth. In Europe and the U.S., an estimated 10% of the population is edentulous, and 35% to 40% are missing some teeth.

And while 25% of all adults over 60-years-old have lost all of their teeth, only 22% of them are covered by private dental insurance. As a result, even in developed nations, dental care is unreachable for many older people living on a fixed income.

Current approaches can require as many as 8 office visits to produce, adding a significant time burden to both the dentists and patients. Further, technological and methodological innovations in dentures have focused on expanding relatively affluent markets where people will generally pay what they must in order to get the care they need.  This has resulted in a ready market for innovations as well as attractive investment prospects for new technologies, but also relatively high price points for dentures.

We believe it’s time for a major upgrade-- to apply new ideas and technologies to this problem, to address a historically overlooked and underserved market and get hundreds of millions of people chewing again!

 


The Challenge Breakthrough

Our ultimate goal is to manufacture and distribute 1 billion dentures for people who need them.

Digital technology offers the possibility of transcending current limitations and revolutionizing the process of making dentures as it has transformed industries for decades. We believe now is the time for dentures!

We envision the denture production process of the future to include three key steps: Scan, Analyze, and Fabricate.

We are looking for competitors to identify existing or promising technologies that can accomplish our goal. Competitors may submit solutions for any individual step in our envisioned process, or propose a solution that encompasses all three steps.

We foresee Step 2: Analyze, as being the most challenging step above, as it requires taking the digital output from Step 1 and preparing a digital 3D  model to serve as the input for production in Step 3. As a result, we are focusing the efforts of this challenge on collecting in-depth solutions for Steps 1 and 3 and allowing Step 2 submissions to be high level, requiring future development. If you have contributions to make regarding the required software form or function in Step 2, we welcome you to submit these in the Submission Form, and we may pursue follow on opportunities to develop them.

 

Acceptable Phases of Technology

We understand that this challenge may result in identifying existing, off-the-shelf technologies. It may also inspire many futuristic, hypothetical technologies that are yet to be created. Competitors could also submit a hybrid proposal, combining novel and existing technology. Regardless, technologies should have at least been proven viable by analytical and/or laboratory studies. A prototype of the technology is not necessary but a proof-of-concept model is encouraged (a technical readiness level of 3). The technology does not need to be your own, you may submit an already existing technology that you think could be used for this purpose.

 

About the Sponsor

We are a group of entrepreneurs from the dental and other related industries who have seen this problem and want to address it. We see this project as an opportunity to take what we’ve learned from lifelong careers in business and apply it to making the world work better for our friends who have no teeth.

Our intention is to identify methods, knowledge and/or technologies that can be commercialized. We will then launch a company to sell the solution in developed markets as a for-profit entity, and give it away in underdeveloped markets as a non-profit entity.

One-for-One Dentures

We plan to launch our denture product in the US and other developed markets with the express mission to use sales revenues to subsidize the giveaway of dentures to people who cannot afford them across low-income populations.

Don't have an idea or technology, but want to get involved as a Partner? Are you an NGO with presence in a developing country, interested in deploying new dental technologies? Contact us!

 

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

Guidelines updated February 14, 2018

 

The Billion Dentures Project aims to manufacture and distribute 1 billion dentures to people who need them.

The Challenge is seeking proposals for the most innovative and viable technologies that can be applied to Scan, Analyze, Fabricate, or all three steps as a whole shown below.

We foresee Step 2: Analyze, as being the most challenging step above, as it requires taking the digital output from Step 1 and preparing a virtual model to serve as the input for production in Step 3. As a result, we are focusing the efforts of this challenge on collecting in-depth solutions for Steps 1 and 3 and allowing Step 2 submissions to be high level, requiring future development. If you have contributions to make regarding the required software form or function in Step 2, we welcome you to submit these in the Submission Form [link], and we may pursue follow on opportunities to develop them.

 

The Prize

We will award up to $15,000 in overall cash prizes:

  • Scan: Grand Winner: $8,000
  • Fabricate: Grand Winner: $2,000
  • Bonus: $5,000
    • We are reserving $5,000 to add to the Scan or Fabricate submission that exceeds our expectation in any of the metrics included in the Judging Criteria.

 

 

Timeline

  • Challenge Update              Thursday, February 8th, 2018
  • Submission Deadline         Friday, May 4th, 2018 @ 4:59 pm EST (New York)
  • Judging Opens                   Monday, May 7th, 2018
  • Judging Closes                  Friday, June 1st, 2018
  • Winners Announced          Monday, June 4th, 2018

 

How Do I Win?

To be eligible for an award, your proposal must, at a minimum answer these questions:

Scan Eligibility Requirements

  • Does the solution create a digital representation of the patient's mouth?
  • Does the solution address at least one of the following? Note, preference will be given to solutions that address the entire problem:
    • (Preferred) Does the digital scan identify, measure and differentiate the soft tissue of the patient's mouth?
    • Does the digital scan detect the unique jaw movements/bite pattern of the patient?
    • Does the digital scan capture and record the dimensions of the patient’s head and positioning of the mouth and jaw relative to the head?
    • Does the digital scan identify, measure and differentiate the hard tissue of the patient's mouth?
  • Do all required elements meet a technical readiness level of 3, meaning the technology proposed has had some laboratory testing or has a proof of concept?

Fabricate Eligibility Requirements

  • Does the submission describe how to customize patient tooth color/shade?
  • Will the final denture last at least 5 years?
  • Is the fabricated denture made of one homogenous material?
  • Are all relevant components or materials FDA approved?
  • Does the solution specify the type of digital input that is necessary to fabricate the final denture?
  • Do all required elements meet a technical readiness level of 3, meaning the technology proposed has had some laboratory testing or has a proof of concept?

 

Whole System Eligibility Requirements

  • Answer all Scan questions +
  • Answer all Fabricate questions +
  • Does the submission clearly identify how to convert the scan data into a fabrication-ready format?
  • Do all required elements meet a technical readiness level of 3, meaning the technology proposed has had some laboratory testing or has a proof of concept?

 

Acceptable Phases of Technology

We understand that this challenge could result in identifying existing, off-the-shelf technologies. It could also inspire many futuristic, hypothetical technologies that are yet to be created. Competitors may also want to submit a hybrid proposal, combining novel technology or software solutions for Step 1 and 2 with existing hardware technology for Step 3.

We leave it up to you. However, to help competitors better understand the phase of technology we are willing to award a prize to, we refer to NASA’s scale.

NASA uses a TRL, or Technical Readiness Level to assess the maturity level of technologies used in projects as they progress. There are 9 TRL levels, with 1 being the lowest, and 9 being the highest.

For the sake of this competition, we are interested in only technologies of a TRL 3 or higher. A TRL 3 has transcended beyond the speculative phase of TRL 2, and comes before TRL 4 where a prototype is ready. We are looking for technologies that have been proven viable by analytical and/or laboratory studies. A prototype of the technology is not necessary but a proof-of-concept model is encouraged.

 

Judging Criteria

Competitors who meet the above minimum requirements will then be ranked on the following metrics:

 

Metric

Description

Points

Time

How long does it take for the step proposed to be completed?

20

Size

How big is your solution?

20

Ease of Use: Patient

What is the customer experience like? Is it invasive? Uncomfortable? 

20

Ease of Use: Operator

How user-friendly is the technology for the operator? Can someone be trained quickly to operate the equipment?

20

Readiness

How ready is the proposed technology? Refer to the Technical Readiness Levels to give an estimate according to the 1-9 scale for each step.

20

TOTAL

 

100

 

Plans for the Winning Solution

Following the competition, we may collaborate with the innovator to further develop their technology for commercialization. If appropriate, we will attempt to arrange licenses with the holders of existing IP to manufacture and/or distribute the proposed technology. We may also pursue additional challenges to generate working prototypes.

 

Additional Rules

Awarding Prizes

The highest scoring teams who meet the minimum eligibility requirements will be awarded a prize based on a formal judging process using the judging criteria stated in the Challenge Guidelines.

Participation Eligibility

The Billion Denture Project Challenge encourages participation from all individuals, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams. Teams may originate from any country or from multiple countries. Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English.

No specific qualification or expertise in the dentistry field is required. Challenge organizers encourage individuals and non-expert teams to compete and propose new solutions. To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement, which will be made available upon registration.

Registration and Submissions

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the HeroX.com website, before the stated deadlines. All uploads must be in PDF format. No late submissions will be accepted.

Selection of Winners

Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the Judging Criteria section above. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected based on the highest votes from the Judges.

Consolation Prize

In the case of no winner, The Sponsor reserves the right to withhold the Prize Purse amount. In place of the original prize amount, The Sponsor must issue a Consolation Prize to the teams or individuals closest to the winning solution in the amount of at least 10% of the total original prize purse.

Intellectual Property

All Intellectual property rights, if any, in the idea, concept, or activities demonstrated by the Submission will remain with the Innovator.

Additional Information

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or claiming an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.

 

Timeline
Updates 11

Challenge Updates

Submissions due TODAY

May 4, 2018, 10:32 a.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

That's right, you have just 3 over hours left to submit your entry to the Billion Dentures Challenge.

Got questions?

Now is the time to speak up! Comment directly on this update with any questions about the submission process and we'll get back to you right away!


Four Days Left to Submit (TIPS)

April 30, 2018, 4:25 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

We are quickly approaching the final days open for submission to the Billion Dentures Challenge. The deadline is May 4th at 4:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (New York/USA.)

 

Here are a couple of last-minute tips for a smooth entry process:

1. Begin your submission process several days before the cutoff time. This allows you to ensure everything you have been working on can be seamlessly integrated into the form.

2. Your submission will not be reviewed until you click the orange "Submit Entry" button at the top of the final review page. Please remember to do this!

3. Review the Challenge Guidelines to ensure your submission is complete. Pay particular attention to the judging criteria which will be the scorecard used to evaluate your entry.

4. Have any questions? Head over to the challenge forum and we would love to help you out.

 

Thanks so much, and good luck to all!


The future of dentures is digital

Feb. 20, 2018, 5:29 p.m. PST by Kyla Jeffrey

The future of dentures is digital. We are convinced of that. Digital technologies make so much possible, from computer-aided design to records storage to big data analytics. But in order to make digitally-designed dentures a reality, the single most challenging hurdle must be removed: scanning soft tissue. 

 

Today's technology, with some modification and integration, could accomplish much of what we want to achieve with this challenge, but without reliable soft tissue scanning, we cannot generate the most important input to the digital denture production process: a 3D image of the patient's gums. The judges will favor submissions that address the most difficult aspects of digital dentures. As such, we are excited to see your solutions for soft tissue scanning!

 

Here is an interesting article that on the subject of scanning soft tissues.


[IMPORTANT] Changes to the Billion Denture Challenge

Feb. 14, 2018, 6:35 a.m. PST by Kyla Jeffrey

Greetings Innovators --

We want to express our huge appreciation to everyone we have spoken with in the challenge community and everyone that has contributed their thoughts and ideas to the direction of this challenge.

We want to provide you with much more specific details regarding the problem at hand. As a community of non-dentist innovators, we have realized that we need to provide more guidance so that you can bring your outside expertise to this very important problem. We hope that in refining the challenge, we have made your task much easier.

We envision the denture production process of the future to include three key steps: Scan, Analyze, and Fabricate. We foresee analyze being the most complex step and so are focusing our initial efforts on the other two steps: (1) Scan and (3) Fabricate. We have updated the challenge guidelines to provide specific details on what must be included for each step and how it will be evaluated.


 

Please review the complete and updated challenge guidelines here that reflect the new structure. Please also note the updated submission forms which are customized to each step of the process.

Given the changes to the challenge guidelines, we are extending the submission deadline to May 4, 2018. You can see the complete timeline here.

Thank you again!

The HeroX and Billion Denture Project Team


Are you the right person to solve this challenge?

Jan. 8, 2018, 1:56 p.m. PST by Kyla Jeffrey

Hear from Billion Dentures Project's Jandro Levins on the expertise he thinks is necessary to solve this challenge...


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