1 NOVEMBER 2019
Injectra founder, Maryam Soomro is on a mission to prevent blood poisoning – the world’s leading cause of death from infection that causes at least 5,000 deaths in Australia each year.
Also known as sepsis, the condition arises when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues and organs.
In her clinical experience as a Monash University medical student, Maryam often met patients with sepsis associated with unsterile peripheral intravenous cannulas – a small, hollow tube that can be put into a vein to deliver fluids, medication and blood products.
“Injectra’s approach is based on a universal fact of life: simplicity saves lives. The simpler sterility is to maintain, the more likely it is to be maintained,” explains Maryam.
“I realised that contamination of key parts in the cannulation process is a significant driving factor for hospital associated sepsis,” she says.
“I saw that we could reduce cannula associated sepsis in hospitals by reducing the number of key parts – not only because there are less surfaces that could be contaminated, but also because it would make the cannulation set up simpler.”
Maryam proposed a cannula with less key parts to her multidisciplinary team of student doctors and engineers.
Together, with the support of their Monash Young MedTech Innovator network of students and researchers, they brought Injectra to life: a cannulation system that is simpler to use, has fewer key parts and, as an added bonus, less packaging.For Injectra, their biggest challenge to now overcome is manufacturing.
“Whilst we have a strong problem and a promising solution, we really want more ‘on the ground’, experienced input into turning this into an easily accessible, mass manufacture product,” says Maryam.
Maryam recently won the wildcard audience vote at the Melbourne MedTech’s Got Talent Challenge Rapid Fire Rounds and is looking forward to working with her new mentors from the Challenge team to help make this happen.
Her mentors will help her to shine for the judges at the upcoming black-tie Gala Finals on Thursday 5 December at Sofitel Melbourne, where she will compete with the brightest emerging HealthTech entrepreneurs from across Australia for a share in $50,000. In an exciting development, entrepreneurs from India will also join the competition for the first time this year.
Maryam says that she has gained invaluable knowledge through the MedTech Actuator and the Challenge.
“I not only found myself talking with manufacturers, hospital bodies and like-minded designers, I found that I was guided by mentors who helped me take my product where it needed to go,” says Maryam.
“Through this program, I’ve developed my leadership and commercialisation skills which I intend to carry on into my startup. It’s been an incredible experience and a massive growth facilitator for young startups like mine.”
For anyone who has a HealthTech idea, Maryam urges them to pursue this: see if there’s a market for it, if it works and if they can make an impact with it.
“Ultimately if your idea doesn’t work out, that’s ok, there’s more where that came from. But if it does work out, you’ve contributed to making an immeasurable difference to the lives of countless others, and that’s the most noble aspiration I can think of.”
Want to see Maryam deliver her pitch at the Gala Finals? Book your tickets today!
Thank you to our Challenge sponsors – we couldn’t do this without you: LaunchVic, Johnson & Johnson, Cook Medical, Medtronic, K&L Gates, Vestech, IDE Group, Design + Industry, Tricycle Developments, Ingenuity Design, Outerspace Design, MiniFAB, LEAP Australia and Wave Digital.