PROMinsight: The Comprehensive Platform for Precise Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

HealthTech startup PROMinsight is revolutionising patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) with its end-to-end platform that offers precise and comprehensive measurements of the impact of eye disease, vision impairment and related treatments from the patient’s perspective. 

The idea for PROMinsight was born when Co-founders, Dr Eva Fenwick and Prof Ecosse Lamoureux who have been measuring patient-reported outcomes in research studies and trials for over 15 years in Australia and Singapore recognized the limitations of traditional “paper-pencil” surveys in clinical trials and clinical care. To address this challenge, they developed computerised adaptive tests (CATs), a sophisticated approach to measuring health-related quality of life assessment. CAT was already being used in educational testing and the team saw multiple benefits in using this method in health outcomes. The company built their first item banks and CAT to measure quality of life in patients with diabetic eye disease and eventually developed GlauCAT for glaucoma and IVI-CAT for vision impairment, with MacCAT for age-related macular degeneration, MyoRI-CAT for myopia, and DiabCAT for type-2 diabetes in the pipeline, all hosted on a bespoke cloud-based platform.

The CAT algorithm successfully reduces the time taken to collect patient-reported outcome data by up to 70%, which is a major breakthrough in the field. Researchers, clinicians, and patients find the CAT tests easy to use and appreciate the impact of the PROMinsight’s work. 

“Seeing the CAT algorithm work to successfully reduce a questionnaire from 20-30 items to just a quick 7-8 is very satisfying, and it’s also gratifying to hear researchers, clinicians and patients enjoy using the CAT tests and believe in our work”, Dr Eva Fenwick, Cofounder PROMinsight.

Although integrating the cloud-based CAT system into hospital electronic medical records (EMR) posed significant challenges, such as overcoming data security barriers and addressing the limitations of EMR systems around data analytics and visualization, the team successfully navigated these obstacles with the help of their exceptional IT and software support teams.

PROMinsight’s success story offers valuable lessons for other startups in the HealthTech industry. 

Firstly, it is crucial to get user feedback and iteratively update and improve the product. Secondly, it is important to think big-picture from the start and surround yourself with a great supporting team, including software, marketing, and clinical teams, who believe in your solution and aren’t afraid to provide honest feedback.”

Experience with the MedTech Actuator

PROMinsight joined the MedTech Actuator Ascend 2023 program, the new flagship program in Singapore to understand a robust Go to market strategy and connect with like-minded organisations with whom they could find synergy in their product offerings.

The team accomplished significant milestones including obtaining valuable knowledge and experience in the preparation process for engaging with venture capitalists and angel investors. They gained insight into the critical documents and information required to capture the attention of potential investors, which has been instrumental in their progress.

“MedTech Actuator has been extremely helpful in connecting us with relevant people and organisations who can assist in pointing us in the right path as well introducing us to potential partners and playmakers within the industry. We have been able to increase awareness of our product as well as find our limitations and strengths to position ourselves more accurately.”

The 6-month Ascend program is designed for scaling ventures in MedTech, BioTech, and HealthTech looking to gain insights, access opportunities, and overcome hurdles within the Singapore ecosystem. Singapore is a strategic launch pad for many startups exploring the broader Asia-Pacific region, and looking to gain, or strengthen market position across the many regional healthcare ecosystems. 

PROMinsight recommends MedTech Actuator programs to other startups, as understanding the ins and outs of business in Singapore can be tricky especially in the medical industry with the various restrictions and compliances set forth by the government. Through the Ascend program, MedTech Actuator introduced industry leaders to guide PROMinsight in this process and made sure the startup was connected well and prepared for the challenges of introducing and selling their product in Singapore.

Join us for Demo Day in Singapore

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the innovative ideas and solutions of our Ascend startups at our upcoming Demo Day! The event will showcase startups from our Global Navigator program and will be held on 22 June 2023, from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) in Singapore. Stay tuned for more information, which will be announced soon. 

If you have any enquiries, please reach out to Cayden Pang, our Enterprise Manager, at cayden@medtechactuator.com

SoundEye: Enhancing Healthcare Safety with Sound Recognition and LiDAR Technology

SoundEye is a MedTech startup that aims to provide safety monitoring and peace of mind for the community by utilizing cutting-edge sound recognition and LiDAR technology. The inspiration behind SoundEye comes from the personal experience of Dr Tan Yeow Kee, CEO, SoundEye, whose mother-in-law fell in the hospital and took more than 30 minutes for the nurse to attend to her. Inspired by this incident, SoundEye has collaborated with hospitals and nursing homes to develop LASSO, a device capable of detecting falls and abnormal sounds such as screaming and preventing falls by detecting bed-exit.

One of the biggest challenges faced by SoundEye during the initial development of LASSO was the lack of public datasets available to train the algorithm. However, SoundEye overcame this challenge by collecting real-world data and partnering with hospitals and nursing homes to co-develop LASSO. Despite the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, SoundEye’s focus on technology that benefits the community garnered trust and success, leading to partnerships for LASSO’s development.

SoundEye’s LASSO device integrates seamlessly with existing healthcare systems and offers numerous benefits to both healthcare providers and patients. Singapore, like many other countries, faces healthcare staff shortages, and monitoring an entire COVID-19 community care facility can be a major challenge. LASSO is capable of monitoring washrooms and bed-wards around the clock, removing the need for time-consuming patrols. LASSO enhances safety monitoring by automatically triggering alerts, which can be verified within seconds by watching a short video clip on the mobile application. This not only saves time but also ensures that healthcare staff can attend to urgent matters promptly.

SoundEye’s LASSO device installed in the healthcare facility

In addition to providing safety monitoring in healthcare facilities, SoundEye is also exploring other potential applications of its technology. For instance, it could be used in homes to monitor elderly or disabled family members, providing peace of mind to caregivers who may not always be able to be present.

SoundEye’s experience with the MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Australia

SoundEye recently participated in the MedTech Actuator Global Navigator program, hoping to gain a better understanding of the Australian healthcare and aged-care market and devise a go-to-market strategy.

MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Australia is an intensive innovation program that facilitates a smooth and accelerated connection for growth stage health Startups from Singapore to access the Australian Market. Australia is one of Asia-Pacific’s fastest-growing startup ecosystems. In 2021, Australian BioTech/MedTech startups raised over A$500 million in capital – the 5th largest sector in Australia. 

The Global Navigator experience over the past year, helped SoundEye achieve several milestones, including signing NDAs with two Australian listed companies. The company is currently integrating its solutions with its partners’ back-end systems and working towards real-world deployment. This success is a direct result of the insights and connections gained through the MedTech Actuator Global Navigator program, which provided SoundEye with the opportunity to meet with influential companies and key industry figures.

The MedTech Actuator Global Navigator program provided an invaluable opportunity to connect with mentors and advisors who share a deep passion for utilizing technology to benefit communities. The connections established through this program proved to be extremely valuable, as the MedTech Actuator team’s extensive knowledge of the Australian market and their expansive network provided us with the resources and support necessary to drive our mission forward”, Dr Tan Yeow Kee, CEO, SoundEye.

Looking ahead, SoundEye’s future goals include market expansion to Australia and Japan in the healthcare, aged-care, and surveillance markets. The company plans to achieve this by building upon its success in Singapore and leveraging its partnerships and collaborations with key industry players. With its innovative technology and commitment to serving communities, SoundEye is well-positioned to make a significant impact in the medical technology space.

Dr Tan Yeow Kee, CEO, SoundEye presenting Lasso at the SWITCH Slingshot 2022 conference in Singapore.

The MedTech Actuator Global Navigator program has been instrumental in SoundEye’s success, providing the company with the tools, insights, and connections needed to achieve its goals. SoundEye highly recommends the program to other startups in the medical technology space looking to expand into new markets and make a meaningful impact in the industry.

Applications are now open for MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Perth

Immerse your startup into Perth’s health innovation ecosystem.

MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Perth 2023 is an intensive growth-stage innovation program that enables healthcare startups to enter and explore the Australian Market through Perth.

Perth is situated in a timezone shared with around 60% of the world’s population making it an ideal location to run a business. Perth’s government has also invested over 10 billion in building infrastructure in Perth to transform it into a world-class knowledge and health hub. 

MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Perth is looking for passionate founders and startups to grow their ventures and transform global healthcare. Apply today!

Desafía Singapore applications opening soon

MedTech Actuator is supporting Spain’s next wave of health ventures to take bold, strategic steps into Asia Pacific’s thriving innovation ecosystem with the new Desafía Singapore program.

Paving the way to enter new markets.

As a gateway to South East Asia, and with a life sciences ecosystem valued at $22.5 billion (Startup Genome, 2021), Singapore is primed to enable European ventures to unlock new opportunities to transform healthcare. MedTech Actuator is proud to work together with ICEX Spain Trade and Investment to help ventures realise this potential with greater speed and scale. 

Building on the success of the inaugural Desafía Singapore in 2021 – applications will open soon to continue catalysing the growth of Spain’s MedTech and BioTech ventures in Asian markets.

Supported by the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 masterplan by the National Research Foundation, Singapore has set aside $25 billion to support innovation over the next 5 years.

Singapore is also home to more than 50 regional and global headquarters of healthcare MNCs, with more than $300M invested in startups in 2018 alone. Singapore’s ecosystem supports the commercialisation of innovation in healthcare through providing strong clinical infrastructure, robust IP protection and leading biomedical research. 

Singapore welcomes entrepreneurs and tech talent to anchor themselves in Singapore with talent initiatives like Entrepass visas for foreign entrepreneurs. MedTech Actuator was recently appointed as an Entrepass partner to support overseas entrepreneurs – including Desafía Singapore participants – to establish a business in Singapore.

Expanding networks for greater health impact. 

Leading up to the launch of Desafía Singapore, our General Manager Singapore Joshua Lim travelled to Spain to help promote the new program. Joshua met with startups, accelerators, investors, and bioregions in Spain’s healthcare ecosystem such as Asebio (Asociación Española de Bioempresas), Telefonica, Basque Health Cluster, Caixa Capital Risc, Barcelona Health Hub and ACCIÓ.

“Spain’s vibrant ecosystem creates innovative and digitally-enabled medical solutions that are well-positioned to disrupt traditional healthcare services,” said Joshua.

“We see new opportunities for expansion and collaboration of commercial activities between Spain and Singapore’s ecosystem, and are excited to catalyse the acceleration of Spanish companies to bring their innovations to the leading medical institutions and corporations in the Asia Pacific region through the Desafía Singapore program.” 

ICEX Spain Team, 2021 Photo of Desafía Singapore program participants on Zoom call, 2021

The inaugural Desafía Singapore, 2021.

Spain’s health venture founders ready for liftoff in Asia.

An impressive cohort of health venture founders from across Spain joined the inaugural, two week immersive Desafía Singapore in late 2021. 

Founders built expertise in navigating global growth opportunities in Singapore, neighbouring Asian countries, and Australia. They participated in commercialisation workshops with a laser focus on growth in Asia, developed new cultural sensitivity to help them navigate the nuances of working in different countries across Asia, connected with industry mentors, and networked widely with healthcare stakeholders and investors.

Here’s what founders had to say about their Desafía Singapore experience.

“Great insights on the regulatory frameworks and inner workings of healthcare systems in many different countries.” –Pablo Sanchez, Adamo Robot

“I feel more prepared to approach the culture and market, knowing how the ecosystem works and with local friends that can support me. The biggest benefit of the program was the human relationships built, although I would call it a privilege. Thank you so much for everything.” –Vera Guerreiro, Mediktor

“I now have a better understanding of different MedTech spaces in Singapore and other countries in Asia – and how our company can enter and work in them.” –Jose Angel D’Amico Bravo, Cella 

“In other training and mentoring programs, you feel from day one that it is going to be a waste of time. But this was not the case with Desafía Singapore. We joined the program to build our knowledge of the Asia Pacific market and to start thinking about it for the next four to five years. But the last two weeks of sessions have been amazing. We have learnt so much about your region and discovered that we could have a sweet spot there.” –Ruben Molina, Innitius

Ready to grow your health venture in Asian markets?

If you are based in Spain and preparing to grow your health venture in Asian markets, Desafía Singapore can support you. 

Applications are opening soon – register your interest or reach out with questions to Joshua Lim at joshua[@]medtechactuator.com.

Feature photo: José María Blasco Ruiz, Carmen García-Cervigón, Joshua Lim and Patricia Rodríguez-Lucena at ICEX Spain Trade and Investment.

Desafía Singapore is delivered by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment and MedTech Actuator, supported by the Embassy of Spain in Singapore, Enterprise Singapore, National Health Innovation Centre Singapore, Agency for Care Effectiveness – Singapore, Stendard, National University Health System, National Healthcare Group Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board, Ernst & Young, Austrade, HealthTEC Singapore Health Technologies Consortium, Philips, Singapore Biodesign, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Intralink Group, and Ontogenix

EloCare: Helping people age gracefully with IoMT technology.

MedTech Actuator startup EloCare Pte Ltd is innovating in the internet of medical things (IoMT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to develop connected and smart healthcare devices that help people live longer and age gracefully.

Dr Mabel Yen Ngoc Nguyen and Fandi Peng founded Singapore-based EloCare, bringing their strong medical research, engineering, and entrepreneurial backgrounds to the company – with a focus on chronic and aging care.

Mabel and Fandi discovered that there was no reliable tool to detect and monitor over 35 menopausal symptoms, and went on to build the first menopause tracker. The wearable and accompanying mobile app can serve as a personalised healthcare assistant to help women make more informed decisions, with the support of their physician, about how to manage menopause. Easy to use and secure, the solution monitors symptoms through biomarkers and self-assessments, and interprets this data to provide lifestyle and medical suggestions. The team is working closely with researchers and clinicians to develop this solution.

“Throughout the R&D process, we uncovered more healthcare problems in aging and chronic care that can be addressed with our IoMT infrastructure. We are now working with our clinical partners to deliver better care,” says Mabel, EloCare CEO and Co-Founder.

EloCare recently won the Open Innovation Challenge 2020 for Industry Track, delivered by Enterprise Singapore in partnership with five of Singapore’s leading healthcare providers. The award opens more opportunities for EloCare to co-develop, test, and deploy solutions using their IoMT infrastructure with healthcare providers.


MedTech Actuator x Elocare

Starting with an idea, preliminary research, and a raw prototype the team joined Asia Pacific’s MedTech catalyst MedTech Actuator in 2020 to develop their prototype and go-to-market, IP, and regulatory strategies – and to connect with industry experts and potential investors.

“The MedTech Actuator has a strong local and international support network that spans government, product development, corporate, clinical, research, investor, and VC partners,” says Mabel.

Being embedded in this ecosystem gave EloCare brand advantages and opportunities to connect with strategic partners and investors. The MedTech Actuator has helped EloCare to connect with the right individuals for feedback and advice in the health innovation ecosystem, and the founding team would not hesitate to recommend the program to emerging founders.

“Navigating a startup in the MedTech space has unique challenges with a longer time horizon compared to a typical startup. Being in the right network and getting professional support early from MedTech Actuator can help startups avoid costly lessons down the road and tap into many opportunities to connect with strategic partners and investors.”

Mabel says the team was fortunate to have Johannes Mang as a mentor to guide them during the program and refine company strategies.

“Johannes is very experienced in the different stages of a startup journey and willing to put himself in our shoes to work through problems and share his insights,” says Mabel.

Photo of road at dusk, pink sky, street lights, empty road in one lane, car light streak through lane travelling opposite direction.

EloCare tips for early-stage MedTech entrepreneurs

Mabel notes that early-stage startups share a common challenge to develop a clear vision of what can be achieved in the short-term and long-term.

“Founders can be ambitious in their startup vision to create a disruptive solution. However being an early-stage startup with time and resource constraints, it is important to have a balance of ambition and pragmatism and to be flexible with goals,” says Mabel.

Mabel recommends ensuring the long-term vision can be broken down into attainable and profitable milestones. She says that it is also important to maintain focus and ambition – always working towards creating impact and developing a competitive advantage.

“Within the EloCare team, we as founders have intense discussions about our mission and plans for the company every time that we assess our progress and challenges. While it is not an easy discussion, it is essential for the life and growth of the company,” says Mabel.

Mabel believes that founders and early team members need to remain resilient and passionate to overcome constant uncertainties and challenges in building a startup.

“Most people will tell you why an idea doesn’t work, and most of the time, they are right. But it is more important to think about how to make something work,” says Mabel.

“Be open-minded enough to accept if a solution or an idea doesn’t work in the end – but only after putting 100% effort into trying to make it work first. On another note, make sure you ask for feedback from the right audience!”

Learn more about EloCare.

Photos by Anton Maksimov juvnsky and Jack B on Unsplash

AI technology reducing discomfort for patients during childbirth.

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.