The cutting edge: five exciting medical device startups to watch

Charlotte Edwards 16 August 2018 (Last Updated January 30th, 2020 10:35)

As the medical device industry continues to explore new technologies, we take a look at some of the world’s most promising medical device startups and their products, from connected diabetes devices to foetal monitors and bioprinted human tissue.

The cutting edge: five exciting medical device startups to watch
Prellis Biologics is currently developing laser-based 3D printing technology to create functional human tissues and organs. Credit: Prellis Biologics.

As the demand for new technologies in the medical field continues to grow, so too does the number of ambitious startups looking to fill gaps in the market and provide new solutions to persistent health issues. From pregnancy monitors to infectious disease diagnosis using machine learning, we take a look at some of the most promising medical device startups around.

Rubi Life

As one of the joint winners of the Digital Health Technology Show’s Start-Up of the Year Award 2018, Rubi Life has vast potential in the pregnancy device market as it has created the world’s first passive foetal monitor, called Rubi. Rubi is a wearable device containing sensors that can track foetal movement in the third trimester.

The concept is based on scientific studies indicating that counting a baby’s kicks inside the womb is an easy, non-invasive, free and reliable way to monitor a baby’s well-being. The US-based medical device startup is hoping to aid in the avoidance of unnecessary stillborn deaths by alerting users to when their baby is behaving irregularly.

Livongo Health

This California-based medical device startup has created Livongo for Diabetes, a system of various linked devices that enable patients with diabetes to connect with a virtual care team. Earlier this year it completed a $105mround of funding, which it plans to use to support market growth and further develop its consumer platform.

Livongo has a vision of “empowering all people with chronic conditions to live better and healthier lives”. For now, its focus is on using advanced analytics to make diabetes easier to manage.

Day Zero Diagnostics

This medical device startup hopes to combine genome sequencing and machine learning to modernise infectious disease diagnosis and treatment. It is developing a rapid, whole genome sequencing-based diagnostic device that can identify the exact species and antibiotic resistance profile of a bacterial infection within five hours rather than days using current methods, giving patients a better chance of getting the right treatment before their condition deteriorates. The Day Zero device can analyse entire genomic sequences with its Keynome algorithm, which uses MicrohmD, a proprietary microbial resistance database.

Prellis Biologics

Prellis Biologics specialises in engineering human tissue and is currently developing a proprietary laser-based 3D printing technology to create functional human tissues and organs. The startup is focused predominantly on building microvasculature to ensure that the created tissues can receive the required oxygen and nutrients to survive.

The company’s mission is to address the unmet medical need for transplant-ready organs. The technology could provide organs for the more than 90 million people on US organ donation waiting lists, although technical and regulatory barriers remain high in this incredibly complex field.

Clinical Science Systems

The other winner of the Digital Health Technology Show’s Start-Up of the Year Award 2018 was Clinical Science Systems. The company fought off competition from other medical device startups to win the award for its eeg.services. The eeg.services platform introduces a different kind of electroencephalography (EEG) related technique with the aim of getting better results than the standard models currently available.

The platform works as a 24/7 service analysing data recorded from the user. It can be activated by downloading the NeuroCenter EEG app for a tablet, phone or other devices running Android, iOS, Linux and Windows apps. The company, which is based in the Netherlands, has been looking for UK companies to partner with.