In 15 Minutes With The Doctor, Vinay Shankar shares the stories of healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators who are growing their unique ideas. Learn from their journeys, including successes and mistakes, so you can make your change to healthcare and grow your OWN idea. Each show covers key strategies, interesting concepts, and has actionable tips and tricks for listeners.
39: Using tech to help improve male intimate health with Patricia from MYHIXEL
In this episode, Vinay is joined by Patricia, the founder of MYHIXEL. The company was founded in 2017 to improve male intimate wellness and to help men suffering from premature ejaculation. The product combines an app, a registered medical device and uses CBT concepts. Learn about the design and manufacture process, the research so far, and how the product uses gamification.
What you will learn in this episode:
What is MYHIXEL?
MYHIXEL is a male sexual health brand that supports men suffering from premature ejaculation and difficulties with climax control. It combines science, tech and gamification.
What’s the medical problem?
Premature ejaculation is the most common male sexual dysfunction. 31% of men from 18 to 59 suffer from premature ejaculation at some point in their life. Also, climax control is one of the main concerns for men because they are worried about lasting longer in bed, and it is a common googled question.
“We are also eliminating the barrier of those men that are feeling shame, or taboos when they have to face this condition because 80% of them don't want to go to a physical consultation because they feel shame. So we are creating something for them.”
The solution combines a medical device, which is a male stimulation device combined with cognitive behavioural therapy for teaching men to control their body in the process of climaxing. The therapy has been translated into a mobile app that has been gamified and anonymised.
During the research, how many trials have you done?
The chief of research is Dr Rodriguez. He and his team started in 2014. They conducted a three case series and then a randomised control trial. In 2017, Patricia decided to bring to the table a group of engineers to the researchers who were working in the field. It was then they designed the specific device. Around 150 patients have participated in their study. But around 2000 men have tested their solution.
What do you say to those critics who might say that this is just a toy?
They realised that sexual health professionals were recommending the use of these kinds of products to their patients because they didn't have any specific tool for them. So from these conversations and research, Patricia decided to create and design something that met the needs of the health professionals and users.
Learn more and connect with Patricia: https://myhixel.com/
Connect with Vinay
38: Harnessing Big Data & AI in Healthcare with George Batchelor from Edge Health
George Batchelor is the Co-Founder and Director of Edge Health, a data-driven agency that helps healthcare providers be more efficient through better and more intelligent use of their data. The company has various data products that have supported various hospitals, charities and supported nationally with Covid-19 analytics. Learn about how they harness data to improve efficiency, how their journey started and why they value trust so much in their business.
What is Edge Health?
Edge Health started in 2017 to help the health service better use the data they routinely collect. Their work broadly covers a consultancy-type service and developing data products, which are tools that use the data collected to help with day-to-day decision-making.
Why aren’t hospitals using their data effectively?
It’s a combination of several things, and some of these areas are changing every day now. These data are often collected for different purposes almost routinely. For example, within an appointment booking system. The tools used often are not well suited for linking all of the data together.
What are some of the data products that Edge Health uses?
Edge Health saw an opportunity where they could use historical data that’s been collected to provide insight into booking processes. The company developed the data product Space Finder, a mini-software that runs routinely on the healthcare system, which sees outputs every time there’s new data.
How accurate are the predictions that Edge Health makes about operating rooms?
It’s very accurate because there’s so much data that’s being collected over the year. They look at factors such as the consultants, the operations, the patients, and basically anything they can get a hold of. They use machine learning algorithms, which allow them to take a massive amount of previously unmanageable data and make good sense of it and good predictions.
How much does the Data Product cost?
Edge Health has all of its data products on a framework called G-Cloud, which is publicly accessible. The space finder costs £ 36 000 to set up, which effectively continues indefinately. Hospitals can use that tool to enable their transformation program with one organisation saving £3 million.
Advice for somebody setting up their own consultancy in healthcare
Having solid relationships where you know what people want and giving them what they want is really helpful . Set up your infrastructure well at the start.
What is the crucial factor for Edge Health?
Where is health tech in 5 years?
There will be a degree of consolidation around the market offering. There will be more prominent organisations offering bigger suites of solutions. There’s a big question about how hospitals and new electronic patient records will evolve and how they will be accessible or not accessible to developers or organisations who can add a degree of intelligence to some of the databases they provide.
Connect with George Batchelor on LinkedIn
Once Daily: https://www.oncedaily.co/healthcare-data-analysis/
37: A digital platform to create 3D printed braces & splints with Manuel Opitz from Mecuris
In this episode, Vinay is joined by Manuel Opitz, the Co-Founder of Mecuris, a digital workshop to create orthotics & prosthesis to save cost and time, and be more patient-centred. He aims to link the gap between digital manufacturing and medical technology. Learn about their platform, how the platform is being used to help 3D printing, and their plans for growth.
What you will learn in this episode:
What is Mecuris?
Mecuris is a provider of medical services to help medical practitioners and orthotists digitalise their manufacturing process. Through 3D tech, Mecuris can create an orthosis process, from posture correction of a user scan, to modelling and configuration. It translates the traditional process into digital workflows and tools.
What are the digital processes involved with platform?
With 3D scanners available on smartphones, Mecuris is a portal to upload the 3D scanned image. It offers digital manufacturing like 3D printing and CNC milling using orthopaedics technology. They have partnerships with high-quality printing centres to support their users.
How much does it cost?
The basic version of Mecuris costs 65 Euros per month. They also offer a free basic version of the platform. The free version comes with a limited number of allowable downloads per month.
What is the market size of Mecuris platform?
Current software platforms cost an average price of 15 000 Euros and are used in over 1500 to 1800 workshops in Germany alone. In a workshop, usually, there are at least 10 medical professionals. This equates to approx. 45 million euros as a minimum in Germany alone.
What’s next for Mecuris?
One of the next steps is to roll it out for upper limbs and other areas like the neck and head. In the future, Mecuris also wants to specialise in other joints or partner with other manufacturers to integrate solutions that will cover more orthotics-related issues.
Where do you see healthtech 5 years time?
“There will be new business models, there will be diagnostic business models, therapeutic business models, or in our case, manufacturing business models around it. There will be a lot of new companies addressing patient needs that couldn't be fulfilled before, especially on a much more economically level.”
Once Daily: A digital platform to create 3D printed orthoses and prosthetics
36: Can you prevent & detect falls with a lamp? With Roeland Pelgrims from Nobi
Nobi is a smart lamp with a mission to enable older adults to live at home comfortably for as long as possible, by using fall prevention and detection tech. It has other care and comfort functions to make independent living possible. We are joined by Roeland Pelgrims, co-founder of Nobi. Today, he shares his unique expertise in smart home technology for older people while providing insight into creating the product and plans to scale. Plus, we learn about all the features of the lamp.
Why Nobi was founded:
With the rise of an ageing population, the current system of intramural care (i.e. nursing homes) will not be sustainable due to pressures on budgets and staff.
One of the main reasons that elderly people seek out residential care is due to falling, or risk of falling.
One out of four 65+ people falls at least once per year, and one out of three results in hospital admission.
By providing technology that both prevents and detects falls, Nobi aims to make it easier for older adults to live at home, comfortably and independently.
“I think falls are very common, but there’s so many reasons behind falls, and not all are medical. There’s social things, and often, we say falls are multifactorial, which means there’s so much going on and lots of reasons for them” - Dr Vinay Shankar
How Nobi lamps work:
It uses sensors and an AI model to analyse the behaviour in the room.
If an older person suffers a fall, the lamp can place a call to trusted contacts, who can ask diagnostic questions, provide comfort, and call for further help if necessary.
The Nobi lamp also connects with a smart lock on the front door, in order to be able to unlock the door when help arrives.
The lamp also includes a burglary alarm that connects with the police and social functions that track how often an older adult receives visitors and can send alerts to trusted contacts to suggest they drop by for a visit.
The design process, pricing, and launch plan
The massive jumps in AI and processing power in the last decade have made the Nobi lamp function in a way that could not have been achieved 5-10 years ago.
The technology that exists today has made the Nobi lamp very effective and reliable. But, there are hopes that a few years down the road, this tech will become more accessible, and the lamps will be able to be made at lower cost.
Currently, Nobi is in the pilot phase and still fine-tuning the product with its first-generation customers, but there are 20+ units currently in use.
Nobi will begin its rollout to residential care facilities this May and will undergo a large consumer rollout later this year.
“If we see how fast the field of AI is evolving and how fast the computing power is evolving. I really have good hopes that the next big jump will not necessarily be one of even higher effectiveness and reliability, because there we are already very very well off, but of extreme low cost.” - Roeland Pelgrims
Once Daily: Smart lamps that provide fall detection & wellbeing monitoring
Website: Nobi: https://nobi.life/
35: A 3-gram Sensor To Detect Sleep Apnoea With Laurent From Sunrise
Our guest today, Laurent Martinot, explains how Sunrise was founded to reduce the challenges associated with diagnosing sleep apnoea.. Inspired by their father, a physician with a special interest in sleep medicine, Laurent and his brother Pierre leveraged AI and other technologies to create a simple at-home test that generates a detailed clinical report without the need for expensive and onerous overnight observation.
Why Laurent and Pierre decided to focus on sleep apnoea:
Up to 1 billion people worldwide are affected worldwide.
80% of sufferers go undiagnosed.
AI and other tools were ripe for application.
“I think many people complain about fatigue and there’s a very good chance that they are suffering from a silent disease that is hard to identify without clinical testing.”
How the Sunrise process works:
Patient completes a basic sleep questionnaire.
Sensor is placed on the chin.
Push start and let the sensor run for the night.
The next morning a report is generated and available for diagnosis.
“Making things as easy as possible was at the center of what we tried to develop.”
Barriers that make patients resistant to sleep apnoea testing in a clinical setting:
Fear of the hospital environment and overnight stay.
Discomfort with all the sensors and equipment.
Making the interface accessible even to those who aren’t digital natives.
“It looks simple from the outside, but inside there is a lot of science.”
How sensor and AI combine to analyse sleep:
Based on micro mandibular (jaw) movements.
The number of micro-awakenings and breathing effort.
The stages of sleep.
The exact sleeping time.
Sunrise is a certified medical device.
Reduces cost and inconvenience of clinical study.
“We remain very busy validating the instruments in different environments.”
Once Daily Article: https://oncedaily.co/an-at-home-sleep-apnoea-diagnostic-device/
34: Tech-enhanced Skin & Mole Tracking with Jon Friis from Miiskin
Our guest on this episode is Jon, co-founder of Miiskin, an app that helps the user monitor their skin for signs of cancer. Dubbed a ‘mole-mapping’ app, Miiskin empowers users and helps them become proactive in their skin care. Learn about the app’s simple beginnings and story, their path to using augmented reality and AI for automatic skin imaging, and the importance of privacy.
Topics Covered in this Episode:
How Miiskin’s technology works
The founders personal story.
Basic and premium version.
“The back is always difficult to keep an eye on.”
Initially a minimally viable product, Miiskin turned into something much more technologically advanced.
“We have gone from a photolog...to very sophisticated imaging tech.”
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
The AI supports taking unstructured images of skin and making sense of them.
AI can augment the patient’s own understanding of their skin.
The data can develop a kind of “filter” to track skin developments.
The goal is for patients to come into the doctor’s office with more information.
“What you can use machine learning for is structuring the information.”
The logic behind the pricing model.
$24.95 for a yearly subscription.
The cost needs to be low enough to avoid it being a barrier but able to sustain the app long-term.
Privacy and security for users and patients
All data on the phone and servers is encrypted.
Photos are not part of the phone photo library.
A premium feature allows users to login and access their photos—even with a different device or if they lose it.
Challenges working in the healthcare space
Hurdles to overcome in the healthcare space to establish ethos.
Language barriers in app that is listed worldwide.
Proving the app through hospital or patient-based research.
“A lot of people trust the medical validity of a lot of apps on NHS app library.”
Mobile app tracks mole changes through photos
Really helped me in the process of setting up my own medical practice.
Nailed it bruv
Very insightful podcast. Easy to understand.
Learning about the journeys of health entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses trying to make a difference is great. As a physician, Vinay adds an interesting perspective and focusses on the key messages to take home!