We are MEDeus, a medical service startup with a vision to improve healthcare delivery by reducing inequality and inefficiency. Our three key missions are to; better connect hospital pathology labs, support emergency response teams and safely & rapidly transport organ samples between hospitals using drones and satellite technology.
We are a trio of medical students, studying in London and Sheffield and after winning a UK Space Agency competition in 2018, we have gone on to join the Westcott Business Incubation Centre, collaborate with the National Institute for Health Research, develop drone prototype designs with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and have started discussions on conducting a trial with Barts NHS Trust, the biggest NHS Trust in the UK. Most recently, we have become the youngest members of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, run by NHS England and NHS Improvement, whose aim is to implement an innovative and comprehensive entrepreneurial workforce development programme.
We have spent the past year researching and talking to healthcare professionals, hospital management staff, manufacturing & engineering experts and the Civil Aviation Authority to gather information on the economic, technological and political feasibility of our service. We have found that there is a large, unmet demand for our service. This is backed by PwC reports which predict that drones will add £42 billion to the British economy – a 2% lift in GDP by 2030.
Our main customers will be NHS Trusts, particularly NHS Foundation Trusts, which are set free from central government control. As self-standing, self-governing organisations, NHS Foundation Trusts have the financial freedom to pay for services. We have spoken to the pathology labs in Barts NHS Trust, who have shown great interest in using our service. The Chief Biomedical Scientists for Newham, Whipps Cross and The Royal London hospitals have agreed to work with us to support our business case and are currently organising an audit to provide us with such data.
Furthermore, we have received interest from emergency services, such as London’s Air Ambulance (LAA) and the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS), with the UK Space Agency coordinating collaborations between us and the WAS. There are 22 Air Ambulances in the UK and 13 NHS Ambulance Trusts in the UK. We can bring real value to such Charity services, many of which are struggling to financially cope with the increasing responsibilities placed upon them. As all GP Practices have a direct interest in providing quick and efficient primary care to their patients, the 7,000 GP Practices in
England alone have a direct interest in using our service. The Chair of the Royal College of Pathologists has backed our service and sees its use for GPs, particularly in remote or congested locations. We have also received interest from Transplant Surgeons in Leeds and are working with the NIHR to gather data and explore the best business plan within this scope.
Other customers include Public Health England and academic research institutes. They will be interested in obtaining and analysing the data we collect. Private healthcare companies have also approached us including a major biopharmaceutical company. Our main competitors are courier services such as City Sprint. However, we can turn this into an opportunity as we have the potential to collaborate with such companies.
Our route to market involves running a small-scale trial to prove the use-case of our service before moving onto a larger trial with Hospitals and Pathology Labs in real-time – something Barts Trust is willing to help us with. Then we aim to move on to upscaling our service within the UK and onto the global platform.
What are you pitching for?
Investment – we are looking to raise capital to fund our small-scale trial and are working on calculating the cost. We expect it to cost us under £20,000. Future trials may cost similar or more. We are also looking to raise capital for marketing and branding.
Mentoring – we are looking for mentors within the business sector who can help us to create the most viable and versatile business plan as we move ahead. This will be crucial for future funding and incubation applications to be successful.
Collaboration – we are looking to collaborate with others particularly within the drone and technology fields. We would like to partner with a drone company capable of providing us with the best-tailored drones for our service.
Support with IP – we are looking for legal advice on how to best protect our idea and service while also preventing infringement on other company’s rights.