VeinWatch: Easing Patient Experience

In collaboration with Sunway iLabs, Disruptr will be featuring 10 startups who have made it to the Top 10 of the LaunchX 2023 programme.

Supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, LaunchX, the first University Startups Accelerator Programme in Malaysia, has recently unveiled the top ten university startups selected from its pre-accelerator phase. This equity-free, no-strings-attached 3+2-month program focuses on empowering budding entrepreneurs to achieve key milestones and take their startups to the next level.

The 5th startup is VeinWatch, a startup looking to assist healthcare staff with the ease of detecting veins. 

Medical check ups are no novel visits to most of us. As adults, it becomes an involuntary mandatory necessity to ensure our health remains at an optimum level and it is common knowledge that injections are part and parcel when it comes to blood taking.

However, not many can say they have had their fair share of happy memories when it comes to dealing with a healthcare staff who may have faced difficulties with finding the right vein, which may at the end result in several tries.

This might just change with VeinWatch, co-founded by Tan Xuan Qing, Lew Yanzhe, Teoh Jia Jing and Chia Kai Wei.

“Our founders and supervisors have suffered varying degrees of harm from failure of needle insertion. Our supervisor’s father passed away as he was not able to get an injection inserted properly into his veins during a critical coma.

“Another one of our co-founder’s mother fell sick and had to endure unnecessary pain due to multiple inaccurate hand catheter insertions,” says Xuan Qing.

VeinWatch is looking to solve a series of problem statements within this area which includes the likes of addressing the high failure rate of needle insertion, assisting emergency room practitioners who are not confident when carrying out injections and the high spending that occurs due to failure of needle insertion.

The startup’s target market primarily consists of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics and kidney dialysis centres.

“Our technology is relevant to a wide range of medical specialities, such as phlebotomy and intravenous therapy. Therefore, our target demographic of users include healthcare professionals, including nurses, doctors and practitioners, who perform these procedures on a daily basis,” he says.

Additionally, VeinWatch’s user demographic extends to patients of various ages, genders and medical conditions who undergo procedures involving vein access or vascular assessment. By improving the accuracy and efficiency of vein detection, the team aims to enhance the overall patient experience and minimise discomfort during medical procedures.

Overcoming Challenges

As a healthtech startup, VeinWatch faces one significant challenge which is to obtain regulatory approvals for medical devices. The team highlights that they have to comply with stringent regulations and standards to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their technology.

To overcome this challenge, they plan to invest in clinical trials, gather robust data and collaborate with regulatory authorities throughout the process.
Another challenge the startup faces is market adoption and acceptance. Xuan Qing shares that health professionals may be accustomed to existing vein detection methods and may require education and training to embrace a more innovative solution.

“We plan to address this challenge by implementing comprehensive training programmes, offering demonstrations and providing evidence of the benefits and cost-effectiveness of VeinWatch,” he says.

VeinWatch is also facing challenges from established players in the medical device industry. With this in mind, the team hopes to differentiate themselves by highlighting the advantages of their design, accuracy and cutting-edge deep learning technology.

As part of the LaunchX programme, the co-founders share that they get leverage on an array of resources especially in the mentorship and financial aid. Collaboration and networking has also proven to be a vital resource for the growth of the startup.

How Can Investment Help?

“Investment will allow VeinWatch to expand its business model in several ways. It can enable us to conduct clinical trials to validate the effectiveness and safety of our technology, a crucial step in gaining regulatory approvals. This validation will enhance the credibility of VeinWatch and make it more attractive to potential customers and partners,” says Xuan Qing.

VeinWatch is also optimistic that more investments can facilitate patenting their technology, protection of intellectual property and ensuring exclusivity in the market. They are also looking to scale up manufacturing processes, optimise supply chains and meet market demand through more investment.

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