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More than 1.5 million Americans use supplemental oxygen for a range of medical conditions. Yet, current options for home oxygen use do not fully address the needs of people who rely on this resource. When asked, people on supplemental oxygen consistently express a desire for a lighter, more portable oxygen supply; for a supply that lasts longer; and for the necessary oxygen flow rate to be readily available.

Through the Air You Wear Challenge, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to broadly stimulate the research and development of processes and technologies that actively address the different outpatient issues associated with supplemental oxygen.

The Air You Wear Challenge is split into two phases that end with the awarding of cash prizes totaling up to $500,000. In the first phase, which closed in September, eight innovators with the most compelling ideas each won $50,000 and became challenge finalists. These finalists then were  invited to participate in Phase 2, and they have strongly been encouraged to use their prize money to help develop and demonstrate their technologies in the Phase 2 development period. At the end of Phase 2, up to three teams will be awarded first, second, and third place and receive up to $60,000, $30,000, and $10,000 in prizes, respectively.

Finalists

The NHLBI is pleased to announce the following selection of eight finalists (Phase 1 winners) and two honorable mentions for the Air You Wear Challenge

Deadlines

Phase 1 submissions due: September 30, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET
Phase 1 winners announced: December, 2021
Phase 2 submissions due: June 14, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET
Phase 2 winners announced: September, 2022

NHLBI has engaged HeroX to coordinate this challenge, and additional information is available on the HeroX website.