Medtech Startup – A Wearable for People with ICDs
If my website has a blog post less than a month old, it probably suggests my company hasn’t failed yet. Highly surprising when we have not had any external investment and only 30% of medtech start-ups even surviving beyond 3 years. I do not know if this stat is pre or post revenue nor do I really care, I am just focusing on LOIS Medical LTD and what has gone before is as irrelevant to us as the weather forecast in Nepal for the next few days. I hope this post ages well, but whilst we are thriving (startup slang for surviving) I am planning to document our journey in more detail. Why? Well I want to provide real pieces of advice for others embarking on a similar journey. I have read and looked for similar advice online and it came up short – I want to give real advice for others on their own startup journey.
In this post I am just going to discuss what our product is/does. You won’t be getting any actual startup tips per se just yet, if you want some of those then sign up, follow me on social media etc etc and they will come in due course.
A Quick Overview of the Startup:
Company Type: Medtech
Product Name: LOIS Respond (working title, likely to change at least 10 times)
Product Type: Wearable healthcare
Area of Medicine: Cardiology
Sub-Group: People with ICD’s
Whats the Story with our Startup?
I have typed this story so many times, yet not in a way I am happy with – it has been twisted because it was meant for some other reason; press releases, funding pitches, grant applications and name your corporate filter. On this platform, I am afforded my own words at least. 3 years ago a series of events unfolded that I wish had never happened, let alone wanting to stop it ever happening again.
If you do not know, people with ICD’s have a heart condition, the heart condition can vary quite widely, but they have ended up with an ICD inside them. If you do no know what an ICD is, it is a defibrillator shrunken down and placed under the skin – if a ‘host’ has a cardiac arrest, the ICD automatically detects this event and then delivers a high voltage shock to save their life. Great stuff. Do not get ahead of yourself, we have not invented the ICD (that would be awesome). Our creation supports the fine work of the ICD to increase the number of lives saved… well that is the aim.
3 years ago, an old colleague of mine told me about a woman died with an ICD, who died when the device failed to treat her cardiac arrest. Her husband was sat just feet away, in the room next door, totally unaware. You see the problem is that ICD’s are not infallible, they have an incredibly high rate of success treating cardiac arrest but they do not successfully solve the problem 100% of the time. Sometimes the high voltage shock is in vain.
Upon hearing this story I decided to create something that could help, a device that could detect the shock of an ICD and alert family and friends. Those people statistically most likely to be close at hand. By alerting people to an ICD shock they can be on hand to offer support and assistance. In the worst case scenario, like the one given, they could even provide a final shot at survival.
This is what LOIS Respond does and this is our aim.
In addition to this more rare scenario, there are other ‘benefits’ that we hope LOIS Respond can deliver. I will give three examples of concerns highlighted in our shoestring market research (thanks for anyone that came forward and spoke so honestly). LOIS Respond could help by alerting a wider network of people in the following scenarios:
- People can pass out before their device treats them. There is a risk they may he injured.
- People with children may worry about them being alone if anything happens to them.
- Some people felt anxious about being alone having experienced a new significant diagnosis or having survived a previous cardiac arrest.
In reality, the benefits of LOIS Respond are really personal to each wearer and so we encourage people to consider what it will mean to them. Even if just a handful of people benefit, I have worked in Cardiology long enough to know that this will make it all worth while.
Until now we have remained tight lipped, but with a patent pending, a clinical trial around the corner and a product not too far from existence, we can happily talk openly about our journey. Below is an early demonstration video of the LOIS Respond doing its thing, detecting an ICD shock and sending an alert.
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CEO LOIS Medical LTD