Quick reads

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Innovators listed on WeFund Health walk the walk. They’re up at dawn for investor meetings, on the phone pitching prospects during the day, networking at night and grinding out code in the wee hours of the morning – then doing it all again chasing their dream. At WeFund Health, our core objective is to support the entrepreneurs reimagining and reinventing the future of health and wellness. As such, we are pleased to continue our July installment of the “Innovator of the Month” blog series as a way to share these stories with a larger audience and highlight the ways that passionate entrepreneurs around the world are using technology to solve problems and drive impact in health.

 

Our July Innovator of the Month is David and Tim Johnson, of Infrared Medical Technology (IMT) – a New York based med-tech startup aiming to conquer the medical thermometer market.

 

Remember the days from grade school when you’d get sick and have to go to the doctor’s office because of a migraine? Likely your pediatrician would’ve used a tongue-contact thermometer to measure your temperature to see if you had a fever. Globally, and in even more severe cases for some developing nations, patients can fall ill to highly infectious diseases like influenza, bird flu, swine flu or even Ebola where doctors use similar thermometers to measure temperature. In both instances, the use of tongue-contact thermometers puts doctors directly in the contagious zone surrounding the patient, as they need to be in close enough distance for an accurate measurement. However, especially for the latter, many doctors risk their lives venturing out into hot zones to tend to patients who’ve fallen ill to such infectious disease. This happened to be the case with several doctors returning from West Africa in 2014 following the Ebola outbreak.

 

The global market size for medical devices is projected to hit $430B by 2020, with the smaller thermometer market valued at $850M in 2017. This is the niche, yet significant, market that IMT aims to address. Within this market, there are 650,000+ MDs and 2,000,000+ RNs who use standard medical equipment like thermometers to measure vitals. While today’s equipment still meets the gold standard of temperature reading, advances in technology combined with some concerns about safety have led to breakthroughs in new thermometer technology. IMT’s patented ThermoWand is one of those innovations, using infrared technology to boast accurate temperature readings within a zone of 3+ feet at a precision of .2 degrees F. This means that medical professionals using ThermoWand can accurately record a patient’s temperature by maintaining at least a yard’s distance, ultimately reducing risk of infection to the medical professional. This feature is vastly superior to the next strongest competitor on the market, which only claims readings up to a distance of 6 inches.

 

Where this innovation can have a real impact though is in developing and under-developed economies where disease outbreak is high and resources to adequate medical equipment are low. Doctors from all around the world converge on hot zones to help quarantine the spread of disease. Unfortunately, these doctors are only able to use basic –and sometimes – lower quality equipment, leaving them prone to infection. The ThermoWand addresses this pain point head on, allowing these volunteers to maintain safe distances outside a patient’s contagious zone. This creates a safe interaction for both the doctor and the patient, where the risk of infection is severely reduced, proper personal protective equipment can be used and highly accurate temperature can be measured.

 

We are proud to support IMT because we believe ThermoWand’s applications go far beyond the annual check up at the doctor’s office. ThermoWand’s abilities have far reaching global consequences in public health that can help doctors effectively treat patients in hot zones all while doing so in a safer and more conducive environment. We look forward to working with them to see out the fulfillment of this vision.

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