A traumatic childbirth drives MedTech Actuator alumna, Cailin Ng – CEO and Co-Founder of Singapore-based HiCura Medical – to advance an AI-powered technology that can significantly reduce discomfort and risks for women around the world.
During caesarean birth and vaginal birth women often endure painful repeated needles for spinal anaesthesia, and risk complications such as nerve injury – and in rare cases, paralysis.
HiCura’s artificial intelligence-powered imaging assistant, uSINE reduces pain and risks by delivering spinal anaesthesia in the right location, at the right angle, the first time. One study revealed that doctors were able to achieve a first attempt success rate of 92 per cent using uSINE, far higher than the global first attempt success rate of 50 to 60 per cent.
“Women all over the world choose epidural to relieve their pain during childbirth. I truly hope my technology will help them, so they do not have the traumatic experience I had,” says Cailin.
HiCura joined MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech accelerator in 2020 to connect with Australian hospitals and investor networks.
“As a startup in Singapore, the MedTech Actuator is helping us to establish important connections in Australia’s MedTech network,” says Cailin.
“We identified Australia as a potential market to expand into, as we saw that the adoption of MedTech innovation in Australia’s hospitals and investor sentiment is very positive. I would definitely recommend MedTech Actuator to other Singapore MedTech startups.”
HiCura’s biggest challenge was commercialisation.
“The MedTech industry is complex with many stakeholders. You have to consider the hospital, doctors, patients, insurance companies, and regulatory compliance,” says Cailin.
“Unlike any consumer or industrial product where you can ‘test’ the market by selling and revising the product, the route to commercialisation for a MedTech device is a long and arduous one involving clinical trials and regulatory approval.”
The MedTech Actuator supported HiCura through this challenge, and the company has now validated the product and developed a regulatory strategy.
The HiCura team found the experience of being surrounded by a community of MedTech startups on the same journey very valuable.
“Having friends around to listen is very helpful as the world of MedTech startups can be stressful. We could share our joys and frequent challenges,” says Cailin.