Newsletter: Knowledge Exchange is the Driver of Innovation

Sep 3, 2019 | Knowledge Exchange, MTSC, Newsletters

MedTech SuperConnector Newsletter, September 2019


MedTech SuperConnector Newsletter
September 2019


Welcome back! We’ve had a busy quarter at MedTech SuperConnector (MTSC). While the entrepreneurs and inventors of Cohort Two continue to develop technologies that could transform mental health, we’re also getting things ready for the launch of Cohort Three, and a new batch of exciting ventures.

What’s driving this innovation? MTSC has been an epicentre for knowledge exchange; bringing together the best of innovation capabilities from world leading institutions to support academics to accelerate medical technologies. Experimenting with new ways of working, new collaborations and new accelerators, here we share all.

In this issue:

  •  What is the future of MedTech? See the latest innovations and ask those budding questions to our entrepreneurs at our Cohort Two Challenge Accelerator Showcase.
  • Does your voice say it all? Or enough for AI to measure your mood and improve the precision of depression management? How have collaborations behind Affect.AI accelerated this medtech?
  • Ok, so we’re got all this technology, but how do we get it those who could benefit from it the most? We team up with Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) to bridge the gap between the innovation ecosystem and clinicians.
  • Can you hear the music of medtech? The Royal College of Music’s (RCM) Centre for Performance Science brings new perspective to medtech. Cohort One share novel technologies and tell you what actually happens on an accelerator!

Enjoy reading!

If you think a colleague or contact would find this update useful, please do feel free to forward it and we can add them if they request.

Cohort Two Challenge Accelerator Showcase

An intensive weekend-long hackathon on mental health, wellbeing and happiness brought 87 academics from eight institutions together. Teamed with individuals from different backgrounds and experiences, this epicentre of knowledge exchange inspired novel medtech innovations. A selected ten ventures have developed these over our Challenge Accelerator Programme where they received equity-free funding, entrepreneurial training and support.

Although very early stage, they have… well accelerated… in the short six months, with one in user testing and another set for clinical trials. The showcase event is your chance to meet the academics turned entrepreneurs and hear about their novel technologies and journeys. We’ll also be sharing insights from the programme; and be joined by Dr Rosalind Hannen, who launched Keratify on our first cohort, to hear from her one year on.

What does it take to inspire ideas and technologies? How do you turn an idea on a post-it into a reality? How can institutions better support this? Join us at the showcase to find out.


Meet An Entrepreneur

Dr Rabia Lalani, BioBreathe

After finding inspiration at the hackathon, Rabia has used her gastroenterology experience to develop audio-visual biofeedback technology to help women adopt bespoke breathing techniques for relief of anxiety and digestive discomfort. BioBreathe is #forwomenbywomen

Noyan Songur & Momen Kamal, RetroVille

Noyan and Momen are passionate about helping elderly people live longer and happier lives. Their smartphone application complimented with virtual reality technology could tackle elderly loneliness.

Inês Neves, Team RVC

Inês’ online therapy programme for managing stress and promoting wellbeing in veterinary professionals, who are at three to four times more likely to die from suicide in the UK.

Knowledge exchange for innovation: Collaborations behind voice-based AI tool that could offer clinicians a better way to track depression


Through the MTSC, the Royal College of Art (RCA) has supported a team of Imperial College London (ICL) students in developing a machine learning tool that tracks voice changes and could offer a robust way to monitor changes in mood – Affect.AI.

One problem with managing major depression, explains Woochan Hwang, final-year medical student, is that patients and clinicians often lack a robust way to monitor its progress over time, especially when a patient sees several different clinicians

Woochan together with fellow medical student Alice Tang – now a junior doctor – and data scientist Dr Wun Wong began developing a technology venture aimed at addressing this problem at the MTSC Hackathon. Building on existing data of voice recordings, Affect.AI will use machine learning to compare the patient to their own baseline to track changes in that person’s mood over time enabling personalised treatment management.

Teamed at the MTSC Hackathon, “we were able to utilise diverse strengths from each team member to bring a clinically relevant tool into development” said Alice. “Being comfortable adapting our idea while sticking to our core goals allowed us to make the most of industrial connections from the MTSC.”

Pitching to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) Commercial Working Group and receiving support from Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP), Affect.AI are building on insights and knowledge shared to further develop and validate the technology.

Dr Pramod Prabhakaran, Head of International Business at ICHP and RCPsych member, said: “Collaboration between the RCPsych, ICL, RCA and ICHP in the MTSC programme presents a great opportunity to bring together the best of innovation capability in London with global clinical expertise and reach. We encourage the MTSC participants to engage with the RCPsych and ICHP in all aspects of their innovation journey including further product development, research projects, access to test beds, health economic analysis and commercialisation plans.”

Seeing early success, Affect.AI are already paying forward the benefits of knowledge exchange. Woochan is sharing learnings from the MTSC as a mentor on Teens in AI.

Read a sneak peek into Affect.AI’s technology and entrepreneurial journey and make sure you’re prepped for their presentation at the showcase. Join us for an afternoon of knowledge exchange.

MTSC teams up with Royal Society of Medicine

MTSC teams up with Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) to bridge the gap between the innovation ecosystem and clinicians

Earlier this year, MTSC and RSM partnered for a UK-leading innovation and mentoring workshop inspired by a pairing model piloted at MIT. Five Cohort One ventures put their technology to the test as they matched with ‘super-user’ clinicians from RSM’s network. Bridging the gap between the innovation ecosystem and target end users, the workshop helped to spot challenges and new opportunities for the novel medtech. Here’s what they got up to…

MTSC and RSM are partnering again at RSM’s upcoming 19th Medical Innovation Summit on 21 September. Letizia Gionfrida (Arthronica), George Winfield (Spyras) and Guglielmo Senesi (Unhindr) will be speaking about how their AI-based technologies could change the landscape of medicine at the Pitch Cafe. From diagnosing and monitoring arthritis to paper-based sensors for sepsis and to soft adaptable liners in prosthetics, respectively, these inventions are the way forward. Be sure to register for the summit.

The Music of MedTech

RCM Centre for Performance Science Associates bring new perspective to medtech. Dr George Waddell and Letizia Gionfrida showcase their technology and entrepreneurial journey.

Dr George Waddell, has brought his passion for performance to medtech launching MedStudio – a digital learning platform to enhance the performance of healthcare practitioners. Poor communication has been estimated to cost the healthcare system over one billion pounds per year in the UK alone. MedStudio looks to address this issue. Read more about the technology.

Through the MTSC, George has commercialised the first technology and venture in the Royal College of Music’s 130-year history. He has helped to pave the way for new opportunities at the Royal College.

Letizia Gionfrida’s has seen rapid success since founding Arthronica on the MTSC. The All-in-one AI-powered platform can diagnose and monitor musculoskeletal disorders through computer vision. She has since won support from Entrepreneur First and the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center, and recently secured £200,000 funding from Versus Arthritis as trials of the technology begin at NHS sites in London and Leeds.

Letizia is the newest board member at the Imperial Venture Mentoring Service (IVMS) at ICL, where she will share her insights to improve support for the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Read more>>