HatiSens – Faster Heart Attack Detection to Guide Treatment
MedTech Actuator Accelerator startup HatiSens is developing a point-of-care device that can accurately and rapidly diagnose heart attacks to guide clinical treatment.
HatiSens is based on Co-Founder Siew Joo Beh’s PhD – currently underway at the Integrated Photonics and Application Centre (InPAC) lab at RMIT University. Siew began developing the technology with Co-Founder Dr César Sanchez Huertas in 2018.
The HatiSens team consists of researchers and clinicians who worked closely together prior to the birth of the startup, bringing a great synergy to the team. Siew sees this synergy as a strength, along with their multidisciplinary expertise in photonic and microfluidic technology, biochemistry and clinical cardiology.
Fusing Research With Entrepreneurship.
“We see an opportunity for our technology to make an impact in the field of emergency diagnostic testing,” says Siew. “Heart attacks in particular require quick and precise diagnosis to ensure patients receive the right treatment immediately.”
Siew and César are driven to translate their research into a clinical product that revolutionises how heart attacks are diagnosed.
“When we were first accepted into the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, I found it quite difficult to put away my ‘researcher’ hat and put on my ‘entrepreneur’ hat,” says Siew. But seeing the potential for impact, Siew has been tenacious in honing her entrepreneurship expertise.
Knowing Your Audience.
Through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator and Origin, Siew has learned how to adapt her communication style to different audiences – many of whom were new to her as a researcher.
“I found investors struggled quite a bit when I used technical terms in my early pitches,” Siew says.
“Every time I pitched, I would have a hypothesis in my head, test it out, observe the audience’s reaction and feedback, and reflect on this afterwards with my team.”
Siew says that this experimental, iterative approach has become a mantra for the HatiSens team, inspired by Co-Founder Arnan Mitchell – to always have a hypothesis and expected outcome in your mind before you attempt anything, and test it out.
“Over the last few months, I found myself easing into pitching and becoming a better communicator than I was when I first started.”
Her advice to emerging entrepreneurs is to always have a pitch ready to go, and to practice communicating in a way that is easy for your audience to understand.
“Always be ready to pitch. You never know when a potential investor is around the corner.”
“My philosophy is that if my Mum is able to understand what I am doing, then someone else will be able to understand what I am doing,” says Siew.
As well as communicating in new ways, Siew has learned how to keep a laser focus on advancing the company. For example, as a researcher, Siew is always excited to share the technical side of research with peers.
“But I quickly learned that technologies are best kept secret unless an NDA is signed.”
Building A MedTech Startup.
Siew joined the MedTech Actuator Accelerator in 2021 to investigate product-market fit in a very competitive space, and to ultimately translate her research into a commercial product.
“Since we first incorporated as a company through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, we have identified our key target market within Australia, successfully raised pre-seed funding, established our brand identity and the first mockup of our point-of-care device, as well as strategised our path to market,” says Siew.
“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator gave us the knowledge, skills and resources to grow our company beyond the pre-seed stage. We entered the accelerator as naïve researchers – and by the end of our first six months we had developed specialist expertise in running a MedTech startup.”
It Takes A Village.
Siew is grateful to Dr Elane Zelcer, who she says has been a kind and resourceful mentor since day one.
“Elane checks-in with us every month and gives us advice on how to navigate through the MedTech ecosystem,” says Siew.
“We would also like to thank the MedTech Actuator team and 2021 accelerator cohort who have supported us through a pretty stressful year – especially with the lockdown in Melbourne.”
Siew highly recommends the MedTech Actuator Accelerator to any emerging MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech entrepreneurs, saying that it has helped the HatiSens team to understand what their startup should focus on.
“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has helped us to identify and mitigate risks along the way, providing far greater value for investors.”
Join the next MedTech Actuator Accelerator intake.
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More on HatiSens
Learn more about HatiSens and follow their journey at www.hatisens.com.au.