The Groningen-based startup Ivy Medical developed a portable infusion pump to increase patients’ mobility. Thanks to an investment, the company can now further develop the product and eventually bring it to the market.
Investment firm Carduso Capital, which invests in starting technology companies, is investing in Ivy Medical, founded in 2017. The start-up will use the money to overcome the final technical hurdles and conduct tests to obtain the necessary safety certifications.
The idea behind the portable infusion is that patients can move much more easily with it than with the traditional infusion. Currently, the infusion stand is used to administer commonly used infusions, such as antibiotics or medication. Despite the wheels under the stand, the patient’s mobility is limited. Movement is important for recovery, so in addition to being difficult for the patient, it is also detrimental to their health.
The infusion of Ivy Medical can be carried in a shoulder bag. The difference is that the new product does not have to remain in the same position all the time, as is the case with the infusion pole. This gives the patient much more freedom of movement, says CEO and co-founder Melcher Frankema: “You can walk, sit, and lie down with it. That means you can also do exercises with a physiotherapist.”
Frankema founded Ivy Medical during his student days with two friends. The idea arose after one of them heard the idea of a professor about developing a portable infusion in a project group: “Patients in hospitals move too little. Our question was whether it is technically and commercially possible to develop a portable infusion.”
For the development of their concept, they were able to secure funding twice through Take-off. This gave them the opportunity to investigate the commercial and technical feasibility of their plan. Developing the technology turned out to be expensive. A good business case was necessary. There were positive reactions from patients, but also from nurses who showed interest. Placing an infusion often takes a lot of time. They adjusted their plan: “Our goal was to develop an infusion pump that is portable and easier to install, so that it takes less time for nurses. Faster recovery of patients and less work ultimately also results in cost savings for hospitals.”
When it came to finally obtaining funding, Take-off played an important role, according to the CEO: “The program responds well to how innovation works. It starts with an idea, which you test for feasibility in the first phase. Then you get the chance to work it out completely. Ultimately, you have a very strong story to tell the investor. It is a springboard to financing, which is much more difficult from the market.”
Looking back on the process, Frankema says that one thing has been essential: “Listening very well to the user, no matter how obvious that may sound.” It ultimately changed the design of their infusion pump. The portable infusion pump is expected to hit the market in the summer of 2022.