Congratulations to LilyLoop, winners of this year’s $10,000 Y-Prize! The team of first-year undergrads proposed a commercial application for Penn’s biodegradeable moisture sensors: a line of “smart” period products that alerts users when to change tampons and captures menstrual flow data for diagnostic purposes.
One in five American women suffers from menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding), which can sometimes result in serious complications such as anemia and infertility. Despite how common menorrhagia is, doctors often struggle to diagnose it because patient data related to menstrual flow is self-reported. Patients are often asked questions like how many pads or tampons they use, but that doesn’t capture the precise data needed to recognize when a heavy flow becomes medically dangerous.
LilyLoop proposed a line of pads and tampons that each contain a tiny, body-safe sensor that sends moisture levels to a discreet wearable that interprets and sends data to an app for precise menstrual flow insights. LilyLoop will initially focus on patients with diagnosed uterine fibroids, a leading cause of menorrhagia. From there, they hope to expand to provide the product to a broader consumer base.
Team LilyLoop is Kylie Chang (M&T), Rima Chavali (Vagelos LSM), Neha Chelamkuri (Vagelos LSM). They were declared the competition winner at the Y-Prize’s Grand Finale, after presenting their business plan and fielding questions from a panel of expert judges from academia and industry. Learn more about their pitch here.
The other 2024 finalists were Reap (who proposed a robotic peach-picking technology), IntelliWound (who proposed a moisture-sensing bandage for use in hospitals) and Project Lono (who proposed a precision irrigation system using IoT).
For over ten years, the Y-Prize competition has challenged students to build their entrepreneurial skills. Students team up to create business plans using technology invented at Penn Engineering. The team with the best commercial application wins $10,000 to help make their idea a reality. It is cosponsored by the Mack Institute, Penn Engineering, Venture Lab, and the Penn Center for Innovation.