Smartphone connected medical devices – Interview with CEO of Cupris- Mike Pallet

Cupris enables healthcare professionals to remotely diagnose hearing loss and ear conditions as well as many other health conditions using their software communication platform and smartphone connected medical devices. Its first product is a patent-pending smartphone-connected otoscope that can capture images and video of the ear.

Mike Pallet

Mike Pallet

SD – Hi, could you please introduce yourself?

MP: Hello, I am Mike Pallett, the CEO of Cupris.

SD – Where are you based?

MP: Cupris is based in London by Caledonian Road station in a building where the first London buses were built!

SD – What is your background?

MP: I spent 5 years working in Investment Banking Technology before realising that I needed something more to motivate me in life.  I wanted to do something that had a positive social impact and was really excited about working in startups. An innovative healthcare startup was the perfect match! I started my MBA at London Business School and met the co-founders of Cupris – Jules and Paul.  I actually started as an intern between my first and second years at business school then carried on working on Cupris in my second year before going full time after graduation.  I became CEO over a year ago now.  It’s been quite a journey so far but we believe there’s a lot more to come!

SD – How does Cupris work?

MP: Cupris enables users to capture clinical images of patient conditions using their smartphones; add information about cases using questionnaires, hearing tests, audio recordings, video, text input, and other tools built into the smartphone app; securely connect with other Cupris users to share cases with them through the secure cloud service; and discuss and monitor patient cases, and provide diagnoses of patient conditions without seeing patients in person.

SD – How does Cupris differ from your competitors?

MP: The main competition for Cupris comes from the status quo – patients going to see doctors who use standard devices in person. We see our otoscope as superior for the following reasons:

  • The image is larger and clearer
  • They capture images and video (standard devices can’t do this) to better explain conditions to patients, track conditions over time and keep an audit trail
  • Users can share images and patient information to get a second opinion or discuss interesting cases

Basic telehealth consultations don’t allow for these clinical examinations and in many situations a doctor cannot diagnose a condition without this image.

SD – What are the next steps for Cupris?

MP: We are currently raising £500,000 through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube to fund the launch of our first product in the next couple of months. The development of our product is complete and we’re in the final stages of completing production tooling for our device.  We also have clinical trials ongoing at Medway NHS Foundation Trust so we look forward to publishing these results later in the year.  Our otoscope has recently been trialed by UK ENT surgeons in a hospital in rural Nepal. According to Mr Mahmood Butta, an Otolaryngologist and academic partner for the trial, preliminary results of the device reveal that it is a very accurate platform for diagnosis, and as good as a traditional otoscope in the decision as to whether referral to a specialist is warranted.  The results of this study are expected to be published later this year.  We also have a device in use in Malawi and are planning further trials in India and East Africa.

Malawi

Trials in Malawi

SD – What are your medium to long term goals?

MP: After the launch of our first product later this year, we will look to build sales of the devices and increase uptake of our healthcare communication platform.  We will continue to carry out further studies in the NHS and will look to expand these into Europe and developing countries.  In the coming year, we will also accelerate the development of our future medical devices, including an ophthalmoscope for retinal imaging, a dermatoscope for the skin, and a stethoscope adaptor.  Next year, we will look to raise a larger funding round to scale our business.

SD – What do you see as your biggest challenges for Cupris?

MP: Despite already securing £775k of NHS funding through SBRI Healthcare, receiving significant support from NHS England and the Academic Health Science Networks, and having numerous NHS professionals using our product in practice, I still see adoption by the NHS at scale as a significant challenge for Cupris.  There are a number of other markets where we can generate traction in the short term but based on the enthusiasm we’ve received for our product from NHS practitioners already, I do still believe that we will crack the NHS.

SD – What do you see the digital health landscape being in 2020?

MP: The NHS faces a potential £10 billion deficit by 2020.  It currently spends £11 billion each year on outpatient hospital appointments which could be reduced by up to 50% with more efficient screening. On the positive side, I think these pressures will result in innovative solutions like Cupris being more wide spread within the NHS.  Doctors appointments will more and more be carried out remotely, freeing up time for doctors to spend time with the patients who need care most.  However, there will still be a lot of work to do.  Developing countries will adopt digital health faster than developed economies due to their reduced barriers to change, greater openness to adopting new technologies and huge need for improved access to care.

SD – How do people find our more information?

MP: A great source of information about Cupris is through our Crowdcube campaign or our website. If you are interested in investing in Cupris, you can invest from just £10. Please don’t forget, investments of this nature carry risk to your capital!

Check out the link https://www.crowdcube.com/investment/cupris-21131

SD – thanks for your time

MP: Thank you!

THE AUTHOR

Paul Budd

Co-Founder and Business Development Director

Paul is an experienced sales & marketing leader within the healthcare sector and is a Co-Founder of Salus Digital. He is a Digital Health enthusiast with a passion for extending the reach of technology to improve patient’s lives and reduce the strain on healthcare services.

LinkedIn | More articles by Paul Budd

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