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#knowthesestartups – interview with advosense

11. August 2020

Life ScienceEntrepreneurshipRegional

How can healthcare professionals and clinicians be supported in providing optimal care for geriatric patients? This is a question currently being researched by start-up Advosense. Find out in our interview what the start-up does exactly and how the idea for it came about!

What does Advosense do exactly?

Advosense is on a mission to transform geriatric care. Using innovative technology, we’re empowering clinicians to know when, where and how best to respond to their patients’ needs. Currently, we’re working on the next generation of incontinence care products that notify clinicians when a patient becomes wet.

Which team is working behind Advosense?

Advosense is a team of three women, with Erin and Martina as the founding members. The co-founders have over 15 years of practical experience in the field of nursing and healthcare management. Erin and Martina met at Maastricht University in 2016 when they both completed their master’s in Healthcare Policy, Innovation, and Management. Since March, we’ve been joined by Grace-Anne Marius, who is experienced in market and product launches outside of the healthcare space.

What is your goal?

Advosense exists to change the way we feel about ageing, by championing dignity and respect in elderly care.

We’re starting with incontinence because it affects so many geriatric patients – around 70% in German nursing homes – and clinicians do not have the information they need to provide the best care.

How did the idea come up?

In November 2018, Martina convinced Erin to attend the ‘Hacking Female Health’ event over the weekend in Berlin. On the first day, when people pitched their ideas about how to improve female health, we were disappointed that no ideas focused on the geriatric population. With Erin’s prompting, Martina pitched an idea focusing on geriatric care. We became a team of six over the weekend and came up with a different idea that ended up winning the hackathon.

What phase are you in right now?

We’re building our MVP (minimum viable product) and getting ready to launch on the market, with a lot of activities keeping us busy! This includes testing our product, preparing for medical device regulation, reaching out to potential customers and securing funding. We’re carefully building our internal resources to reach these goals, mainly focusing on the search for an ideal CTO.

Outside of the organization, Advosense is cultivating key partnerships with healthcare organizations, political and professional associations, research institutes and regulatory bodies, along with suppliers and manufacturers. These partnerships will be a crucial factor for the success of the product and to help spread Advosense’s mission to transform geriatric care. 

We still know you as PeriPower. How did the name change come about?

Around the beginning of this year, we realized that the name ‘PeriPower’ did not fully capture the intention of our idea. We want to be the advocate for our nurses and geriatric patients and our sensor-based solution supports this goal. As a result, we changed our name to Advosense and incorporated as a GmbH in May. 

In 2019, You have already participated in our accelerator program Ahead Life Science Track that we organize together with fraunhofer venture. In which way has the program helped you? Would you recommend teams to participate?

While Martina and Erin have experience in healthcare management, we’re new to the medical devices space and it was really helpful to have an overview of the regulatory requirements from the beginning. Additionally, we’re both from North America so the Life Science Track gave us more insight into the particularities in Germany. Mostly, it was valuable to meet other teams and mentors, and we would suggest teams to participate in the batch for the network alone.

In your opinion, which teams should apply for the AHEAD Life Science Track? How well developed should a team be?

It was definitely helpful to have a clear idea of our product-market fit before entering the Life Science Track. Teams have a tendency to come with a technology but not a clear idea of how it will solve a user problem. This is particularly important to grasp in healthcare, because the customer (e.g., insurance company) is often different from the user (e.g., patient). Since we were very clear on this from the beginning, we were able to get a lot out of the mentorship provided as part of the Life Science Track.

Some teams are affected by the Corona crisis. Do you also have new challenges to deal with?

Since March, we’ve been part of the Berlin-based healthcare incubator Vision Health Pioneers, which has supported us with tools to partially overcome the challenges of remote working. While we have achieved our milestones so far, we do anticipate future challenges in being able to access clinical settings in order to test our product in hospitals and nursing homes. At the same time, clinicians are entering patient rooms less often than before to prevent the spread of the virus, so remote monitoring of patient condition—and making sure they are not sitting in urine—is more important than ever.

start-up-name: Advosense GmbH
contact person: Erin Webb and Martina Viduka
e-mail: erin@advosense.com
website: Advosense

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