How a brush with cancer has led to innovative business

For some it happens sooner than later, but at some stage in the life of every person will be a time when they have seen a close friend or family member, suffer from a painful illness or medical emergency.

We probably all say that we wish we could do to make it better, to take away their pain, cure them, make things easier somehow, but for most of us, most importantly, what we can really do is provide them some comfort through our company.

After seeing a close friend battle cancer, Jackie savage, on the other hand, decided on her background and skills to try to do something she hopes will save lives.

She launched a startup Medtech, technology MedCorp, which develops a wearable device that measures the temperature of the patient and transmits this information to appropriate medical professionals.

“The healthcare system as we know it largely depends on effective communication between patients and healthcare professionals. This relationship plays a key role in helping physicians diagnostic opinions about the state of health of the person. Unfortunately, we as patients are not fully aware of the significance of certain signs and symptoms that we experience as we are all medical professionals,” savage explained.

“That’s where the problem lies. How many times have you felt unwell, and despite the fact that instructed to “contact your doctor if the signs continue,” to wait another couple of days, just to see if you are improving?”

As Savage explained, this is the mentality goes beyond those who suffer through the common cold to severe patients.

“We too often hear about the patients, not wanting to call their physicians after hours or on weekends due to fear of being Intrusive, despite the fact that instructed to do this. This can lead to the worsening of health status in critical patients, health deterioration, and sometimes death,” she said.

“Because of infections in patients with weakened immunity such as those receiving chemotherapy for cancer treatment, the most common of these severe cases, death.”

The drive to find a way to fix this problem, savage said, not “one of those crazy light bulb moments you see in movies where you see the inventors to jump out of bed in the middle of the night and begin to feverishly scribble their vision – sorry to disappoint”.

Rather, she said her light bulb moments are more “thinking or mental fixation” that she can’t shake.

“When I see the problem, or someone shares problems that they experience with me here a little voice in my head, which already made her mind and says ‘I’m going to fix it”, she said.

“This is no different for MedCorp. When you experience something yourself or watch loved ones leave because of a failure in the health system, which exists because no one has researched more efficient and effective way to “communicate” with patients, You can’t help but ask why. I just think that why a little further”.

After graduating from Swinburne University in 2013 with a bachelor of product design engineering, specializing in Biomedical engineering, savage felt that she has the tools to look at the problem.

Not unlike AO, savage explained, MedCorp wearable is placed on the skin measure the body temperature of the patient in clinical accuracy and then transmits this information to the patient’s doctor, who warned if any of the numbers to be abnormal.

“The measurement of body temperature is crucial in detecting the first signs of infection. Patients with a weakened immune system is instructed to measure the temperature twice a day for early detection of the onset of infection, which is usually forgotten and is carried out using inaccurate devices,” savage explained.

“In patients who have delayed detection of infection for three hours can be the difference between life and death, that’s what we wanted to change.”

One without medical knowledge, it sounds like a relatively simple idea in theory, but, of course, a huge amount of work went into the development of the device, and MedCorp as a business.

“If I were to go back, I probably would like my first case and my first introduction for starting business was a little easier than a medical device. To say it was a baptism of fire for the business world, that’s an understatement,” said savage.

While working as an engineer developing medical technology and manufacturing products for other companies, savage knew it was “my bread”, but in the end I realized that I had to make the jump from working at MedCorp on the side full time.

“In an interview I did after winning the contest flowed, I said, what I want to do with this technology. As soon as those words came out of my mouth that it was, there was no way back to include a high level of health throughout the world. I had no idea where it came from, but as soon as I said It, I knew where I took MedCorp and our temperature sensor was only the first step. I filed a letter of resignation the following Monday,” said savage.

“I made classic, to move into a new house with her fiancé, to save money and lived again as a student. I was very lucky to have a group of mentors who really championed and supported me not only in the development of the company, but also helping me to grow my network”.

The key issue, the mentor helped overcome the savage was “founderitis,” said she with the idea of wearable, her vision was the desire to create a product that would be in the full integration of medications and monitoring the patient’s status, without leaving home patient.

“I had blinkers, I was so focused on technology and the incredible tunnel vision that I hadn’t taken a step back to evaluate it from the point of view of the viability of the business,” savage admitted.

Stripping vision back to the core of the IP, said the savage time development megabusa, costs, and regulatory risks in half.

Along with industry recognition of work MedCorp makes, with the wild taking the 2016 Telstra Victorian businesswoman of the award, savage helped in product development in partnership with Swinburne University, which gave her access to their facilities and testing laboratories. Now MedCorp sponsors last year engineering projects, showing students the practical applications of wearable technology.

The development was also funded in part by Mioplay a business making and selling children’s toys. It came the savage is trying to find a gift for my sister when she had her first child; unable to find quality toys, made by herself.

“My sister has a PhD in pharmacology and Neurobehavioral Sciences, began to teach me the problems she is experiencing as a new mom with existing toys,” said savage.

“He came to our attention that teething toys for babies on the market were manufactured from materials that contains bacteria. They can’t go in the dishwasher, not to mention the sterilizer. I was shocked when the nipples are designed for sterilization, but teethers don’t they both go in your mouth, isn’t it?”

Learning about this wild idea of commercialization of the product she designed for her sister, now Mioplay selling to a number of international certified sensory teething toy, dishwasher, Freezer, and sterilizer safe.

In addition to addressing the need in the market, the growth Mioplay also worked to help the Savage to learn and understand more about the process of commercialization and distribution of the product.

“If necessary, on the basis of the company’s product is very easy to become oriented products. However, product creation is actually the easiest bit and it is a part of a successful company. It was a huge lesson for me,” said savage.

“In the study of this through Mioplay, we shifted a lot of commercialization strategies for MedCorp really focus on our distribution channels now and interact with them during the development phase. This has led to an incredible distribution network support, which was part of our journey and contributed to our commercialization strategy”.

With this in mind, savage intends to launch the device megabusa in 2019, with a couple of other technologies that are under development.

“Our goal really is to provide worldwide access to high level health”.


This article was originally published on the daily run, part of a Media network curl. Startup daily or active trigger source news and stories from Australia and New Zealand’s tech ecosystem.

Image: Jackie Savage. Source: Supplied.

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