Case Study: start-up companies for accessible healthcare

Bioverse is an innovative startup founded by some students of the University of Bologna. It’s an example of a company which develops medical devices especially designed for low resource settings. The design is based on the concept of reverse and frugal innovation, starting from the real needs and accurate analysis of the local resources. The main project is Corax, a medical device for severely burned patients up to 5 years of age. These injuries have been ranked as the second most common cause of accidental death in African children. In LMICs the treatment of these patients is not easy because of the lack of adequate infrastructures and the cost of antibiotics and bandages. The device reproduces the typical characteristics of a Burn Unit room, in a transportable and low-cost product. The prototype is made with rapid prototyping techniques and follows safety standards. In 2021 it was tested on a patient in a rural hospital of Tanzania thanks to the partnership with the ONG CUAMM.

IBD srl (Italian Biomedical Devices) is an innovative SME.  R&D and manufacturer of biomedical devices aimed to Emerging Countries. It was founded as Start-Up in July 2014 by  Dr. Corrado Ghidini and biomedical engineer Andrea Visotti. The case study will be discussed. Stemmed by the concept of Reverse and Frugal Innovation, IBD has been capable of developing  MyDial, an affordable and  portable device  to perform hemodialysis, a lifesaving yet high-cost treatment for people with end-stage renal disease. Based on an original hydraulic circuit and innovative sensors can be used  lay operators thanks to its user friendly interface.  BD also developed BIORESPIRA,  a combination of high flow generator and CPAP for the non-invasive  pulmonary ventilation of patients with respiratory Insufficiency. Portability, user friendliness, affordability, non captive disposables, low maintenance needs and robustness are among features. Business model to make these devices available in most of the Emerging  Countries will be discussed.