Asia’s medical technology market is predicted to account for a third of global medical technology sales by 2025. As such, it is a hotbed for start-ups. And, for the second year running, Cambridge Consultants has been immersed in the exciting process of working with some stellar medical technology start-ups as part of our commitment to MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific.
The breadth of innovation and ambition is quite breath-taking, and these nascent ventures really are thinking differently about the future of medical technology. We have been inspired by their vision, so here are our six innovative start-ups to watch that are part of this year’s MedTech Innovator cohort.
1. SharpArrow Medical
SharpArrow Medical is an innovator and developer of laser-based medical devices and equipment. Their laser system can perform precise tissue cutting, ablating and sealing functions, and has been designed to supplant monopolar electrosurgical devices. Electrosurgical (ES) devices are prone to extraneous current leakage that causes tissue damage. SharpArrow’s laser system protects both medical staff and patients from ES device injuries and opens new areas of use, such as surgical robotics, cardiac and neurosurgical applications. The system also assures safer procedures in patients with pacemakers and metal implants where there are presently no alternatives to monopolar ES devices.
Alimetry is a health technology start-up based in Auckland, New Zealand developing breakthrough solutions for diagnosing disorders of gastrointestinal function. The unique Alimetry technology non-invasively senses the motility of the stomach to detect the underlying mechanisms of gastric symptoms, informing personalized therapy. Gastric Alimetry is worn in the comfort of the clinic and delivers new validated biomarkers of gastric function, based on multi-award-winning scientific innovation.
Cell4D is developing ‘fingerprinting’ technology for live cells using mechanomics. Cell mechanomics sits at the intersection of biology and biomechanics. It is a novel biomarker that Cell4D is using to screen and sort live cells in a label-free, real-time, high-throughput and cost-effective manner
As a platform technology, Cell4D is confident that cell mechanomics has the potential to drive various biotech innovations, such as cancer early diagnosis, precision medicine, cell therapies and drug discoveries.
4. DC Medical
Seoul based DC Medical operate a unique business model known as NRDO (non-research, development only). This model involves commercialising intellectual property and working with manufacturing partners to transform existing research and technology into market-ready medical devices. Their first product is Everybaby a handheld mobile device to diagnose preterm births more accurately than existing ultrasound devices. It’s much cheaper and more accessible, making it transformational for low-income countries where this problem is most acute.
Glue ear is the number one cause of hearing loss in children. If antibiotic treatment fails surgeons insert a 1.5 mm grommet into the eardrum under general anaesthetic in a surgical theatre to drain middle ear fluid. Singapore based NousQ is developing CLiKX, a novel sensor guided automated handheld applicator that aims to insert a grommet precisely in seconds with the click of a button - in a clinic, with just local anaesthesia.
This is potentially a game changer as it will reduce anaesthesia risks, reduce cost drastically, reduce scheduling delays and inconvenience. Overall, this will increase adoption of tube surgeries in the hope that kids from all social-economic statuses can hear again.
And Nousq not only won the Cambridge Consultants Product Development Prize but were also the MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific 2022 Grand Prize winner.
6. Nu Eyne
Seoul based Nu Eyne’s focus is wearable bioelectronic medicine. This is the application of electrical stimulus on the body to induce a biological reaction in order to treat chronic diseases. Its flagship product is a pair of goggles that promote efficient tissue regeneration and normalize nerve activity to treat dry eye syndrome.
The devices are designed for home use and a connected mobile app allows monitoring of the patient’s status and treatment compliance. Nu Eyne’s aim is to improve patient quality of life through the provision of affordable treatment options.
Sharing the start-up vision
As a company that drives innovation for both big enterprises and start-ups, working with the MedTech Innovator Asia Pacific programme has been extremely rewarding for us as sponsors and mentors. Find out more about how we work with start-up companies.