Winners of this prestigious award were Cymantic Medical and Frendo App. Both startups were commended for their outstanding potential to further digital health innovation and provide unique digital solutions to address healthcare challenges across global markets. The prize of $100,000 Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits was split between them, and each startup will receive a free hotdesk and support at DkIT.
Cymantic, a computer vision-based platform that analyses body tissue for the presence of cancer, and Frendo, a diagnostic aid and community support smartphone app designed to empower women who suffer with endometriosis, were selected as winners by an expert panel of judges, which included investors and digital transformation specialists from the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Nine companies participated in this specialised entrepreneur development programme. DkIT’s dConnect Digital Health Innovation Hub and the Connected Health & Wellbeing Cluster offered masterclasses and mentoring, ranging from customer discovery and validation, through to assessing market opportunity, mapping funding, product and technical roadmaps. AWS offered tailored workshops and one-on-one mentoring to help participants leverage the latest cloud technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, procurement in the Public Sector, and an introduction to Amazon’s culture of innovation and mechanisms such as the company’s ‘Working Backwards’ methodology..
Stephen Geoghegan, founder of winning company, Cymantic, said: “Winning this award means a lot to our whole team. Developing a new medical device and bringing it to market can take a long time and be a very tentative process, so receiving this kind of validation is a source of great motivation and encouragement for us, especially considering the expertise on the judging panel. The AWS credits we’ve been awarded give us access to powerful cloud computing resources that can now accelerate the development of our technology, which, we believe, can have a major impact for cancer patients and healthcare providers. The tangible supports we’ve received, and will continue to receive, from AWS and the team at Dundalk IT will also undoubtedly go a long way in helping us to reach that goal.”
Dearbhail Ormond, founder of Frendo said: “This award validates what I’ve done so far with the business, but on a more personal level it just means so much to me that opportunities are being given to raise awareness of endometriosis. I’m so proud that we have a solution that is going to help others manage their condition, and help those who suspect they may have endometriosis, and I’m thrilled that Dundalk IT, the HSE and the judges recognised this. The support that we’ve already had from AWS – and that we continue to receive from AWS – on new market entry at a global scale is hugely significant for us. Personally, there have been times that I have felt alone as a solo founder. Now I am confident that we have a partnership with AWS that’s going to build as our team grows and as we enter new countries and scale”
Breanndán Casey, Manager of the Connected Health & Wellbeing Cluster at DkIT which encourages and facilitates increased collaboration between industry, academia, healthcare providers, and enterprise support agencies, said: “Innovation in Digital Health is often dependent on using a wide cross-section of skills, market knowledge, and expertise. We are delighted to see Cluster members, such as AWS, Nova Leah,, dConnect and Enterprise Ireland, come together to create and deliver the eHealth Embark programme. The nine participating companies also benefited from supporting each other, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them further develop their business over the coming years, and participate in Connected Health Cluster activity to help them scale their idea.”
Carl Power, Director of the dConnect Digital Health Innovation Hub, DkIT, commented: “It has been our pleasure to coach these wonderfully innovative companies who are absolutely determined to make healthcare more efficient, effective, accessible and accountable through the use of technology. I want to congratulate all of them on graduating with $2000 AWS credits and free hotdesking in DkIT. I am especially thrilled for the overall winners, Cymantic and Frendo. We are now accepting expressions of interest for the next round of eHealth Embark. We encourage digital health startups to visit our website to read more about the programme and apply for a place in the next cohort, www.ehealth-embark.ie.”
Participants offered enthusiastic feedback on the programme. Gordon Mullins of MindfulIVF said, “What can I say… Every week just blew my mind – I got the opportunity to meet some of the most exceptionally talented people from AWS and DkIT, in our lectures, my mentors and the 1-1 sessions. This 6 week programme has catapulted me at least 6 months ahead. Thanks so much to everyone…”
David Branagh of Raidmed said, “The eHealth Embark programme has been very helpful for Raidmed in exploring and understanding the application of AWS cloud into our diabetic daily foot monitoring service to prevent diabetic foot ulcers and avoidable amputations. The customer insights and regulatory mentoring helped us validate our innovation and develop our product and technical roadmap.”
Kathryn Leslie of Teaching Talking said “The E Health Embark programme supported us in bringing our product to life with a clear roadmap ahead. Expert input and presentations combined with in depth 1:1 mentoring made each obstacle feel achievable. I look forward to the year ahead and staying connected to this amazing network as we move forward with product development.”
When John, Kyle and David entered the iDays student innovation competition in Dundalk Institute of Technology, they wanted to use their creativity to solve health problems and thought it would be an interesting experience. When they won the competition and were invited to represent DKIT in Vienna, they couldn't believe their luck!