Last week I attended the Digital Health Pitstop event at the recently opened Digital Catapult in London. The event was a 5-day session whereby digital health innovators and entrepreneurs could come together and receive specific and tailored advice on how to further their ventures.
This is not a conference, not a course, nor is it an incubator. It is designed to give you deep expertise and 1-to-1 sessions with world-class experts to accelerate your product development and growth.
The event was split into five days, with each offering the start-ups something unique, before culminating in a pitch day on day five, where they got to promote their ventures to a range of interested parties, whether from industry, government, the City or the media.
The week was set out thus:
- Day 1 – Design day, looking at UX and the like.
- Day 2 – Business day, looking at business models, venture funding and so on.
- Day 3 – Health day, with a focus on running RCT, pilots and other ways to get products verified.
- Day 4 – Data day, where data management issues were discussed.
- Day 5 – Demo day, where each start-up pitched to the audience for five minutes.
As a concept, it’s quite a nice one, although suffice to say the proof will be in the partnerships and collaborations that were spawned during the week and how they can blossom in future.
The pitch day began with a talk by Zen Chu from MIT Hacking Medicine, and it was fascinating to hear some of the great ventures that have emerged from that particular incubator, including of course Figure1, which I wrote about last summer.
Each start-up was then given the floor for five minutes to pitch their product to the audience. With inevitable tech glitches, I’m not sure five minutes was really long enough, and the quality of pitches varied quite considerably.
Nevertheless, there were some interesting ideas presented, with the following a selection that caught my eye.
I know from talking to my partner how time consuming and labour intensive medical note taking is, so Minotz were particularly interesting as they claim to make the transcription process more intuitive and user friendly.
I wasn’t entirely sure how they were achieving that via the pitch itself, but hopefully I’ll learn more about the solution in the coming weeks.
Cupris use clip on devices to turn smartphones into medical devices. We were shown a device for checking ears for infections. Sadly, due to technical problems with the presentation the exploration wasn’t all that detailed. An interesting concept though.
This was arguably the pick of the pitches (imo). Home Touch provide a marketplace for people to find carers (and indeed for carers to find clients). The process was easy to use and you could quickly find carers that were both local and reputable. What’s more, the removal of middlemen meant costs were reduced. I blogged this summer about some more innovations in this field so it’s certainly good to see Home Touch joining the fold.
Hopefully those who participated in the whole event managed to make some great connections and picked up some nuggets of information that can help them improve and advance their products.
That will ultimately be the proof of the pudding, with these kind of events speeding up the kind of connections, learning and partnerships that are required to help start-ups get to the next stage of their development.