STA Engineering Challenge 2017


STA 2017 Engineering Challenge

Submission Portal NOW CLOSED

Submission Deadline: Thursday, December 15, 2016


CLICK HERE for a dump from a Masimo pulse oximeter during a significant desaturation event. The date field was removed. The event spans approximately 3 minutes, and the signal is lost during the nadir of saturation. Be prepared to play the output of your project on this sample, even if it means bypassing the front end of your system.


The Society for Technology in Anesthesia (STA) is an international organization of physicians, engineers, students and others with an interest in anesthesia-related technologies. Its mission is to improve the quality of patient care in anesthesia by promulgating the development of better healthcare technologies and the more appropriate application of technology. The Society promotes education and research, collaborates with local, national, and international organizations, sponsors meetings and exhibitions, awards grants, and recognizes achievement. Membership is open to all who are interested. The journal Anesthesia & Analgesia is STA’s official publication.

The Society for Technology in Anesthesia is pleased to announce it’s 9th Annual Engineering Challenge to be held in conjunction with the 2017 Annual Meeting at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California. The competition is open to engineering student groups (BS, MS, or PhD level) from accredited university engineering departments. Groups may have faculty mentorship, but the work should be that of the students. The work may be part of an engineering design course.

The Challenge: 

The Challenge for this year is to demonstrate a way to reduce the cacophony in the OR. Many devices emit sound in the OR, but there has been little done to orchestrate the symphony. Musical instruments have a standard that allows them to interoperate – MIDI. The challenge is to devise a pulse oximeter that can emit MIDI. At a minimum, the device should convey the pulse rate and saturation, and an alarm for low saturation. The device can utilize an existing medical grade pulse oximeter, a consumer grade pulse oximeter (SEE HERE), or a device that outputs the IR absorption values (SEE HERE). The device must be capable of interfacing to a standard MIDI system via standard MIDI, USB, Bluetooth, or WiFi. If you can’t make it work with GarageBand or Cakewalk, we’ll have a hard time judging it.

As always, the competition is open to trainees – residents, medical students, graduate students, fellows. It is acceptable to have a mentor who is an anesthesiologist or engineer. Presentation may be in person or via video conference link. Please register via the website by December 15th, and provide us with contact information. Prizes will be announced on the STA website.

As always, there are rules:

  1. The competition is open to all, but a team must include an anesthesiologist or anesthesia resident.
  2. Entrants do not need to attend the meeting in person, but may present via Skype.
  3. Entrants may use any training data sequence they wish, but must demonstrate their performance on a sequence that will be posted on the STA website during the meeting.
  4. Entrants must list team members, and explain why they feel qualified to compete, and commit to submitting.

As always, the purpose of the Engineering Challenge is to explore new technology and educate the membership on it’s potential.

STA Engineering Challenge Contact Information:

For questions on the challenge specifications contact:

Jeff E. Mandel, MD, MS
Chair, STA Engineering Challenge 


2016 Annual Meeting Engineering Challenge Winner

Ali Jalali, MD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

2015 Annual Meeting Engineering Challenge Winner

Hassanpour Ali, MD, Temple University

2014 Annual Meeting Engineering Challenge Winners

First Place: Nicholas McGill, University of Pennsylvania

Second Place: Ryan Durk, Washington University Saint Louis

Third Place: Goeto Dantes, University of Florida