We are delighted to have been awarded Top Non-Invasive Device Provider 2020 by MedTech Outlook. In this feature, Zedsen CEO, Daniel Honeywell, explores how unobtrusive sensors and powerful artificial intelligence will unlock a personalised and preventative future for healthcare:
December 2020, Med Tech Outlook. Original article available here.
The healthcare industry is in the middle of a seismic shift. The global pandemic marks one of the greatest healthcare challenges the world has ever faced, demanding and inspiring rapid innovation.
Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of telehealth, and uncovered the vast potential for highly reliable, personalised and usable screening and diagnostic tools for use in the safety of the home. Given the existing prevalence of chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer – together accounting for circa 70% of deaths as estimated by the World Health Organisation – the time for change is now.
The future is healthcare that is preventative rather than curative; that monitors patients non-invasively rather than invasively; and empowers patients with ownership of their health through personalised data. Zedsen, a UK-based company born out of a groundbreaking invention, is harnessing the two tech trends intrinsic to unlocking this potential: wearable biosensors and powerful artificial intelligence. Their world-first, foundational technology has the ability to harmlessly and unobtrusively monitor biological tissue, heralding transformative breakthroughs for blood analysis and cancer care.
“Imagine a world where your blood-sugar levels are seamlessly and silently tracked by your smartphone, so that you are alerted far in advance of trends towards pre-diabetes, and supported with personalised advice enabling you to make simple but crucial lifestyle changes to prevent that causality”, begins Daniel Honeywell, CEO of Zedsen. “In such a world, an ultra-thin smart patch applied to the skin could conveniently screen concerning lumps for cancer, and connect and communicate with your physician, who can support you in seeking secondary care only when needed. No longer a sci-fi dream; our technology makes this possible.”
The impact of this technology is significant. Every sixty seconds someone dies from breast cancer, yet these deaths are entirely preventable with early screening. Research also indicates that nine out of ten adults with pre-diabetes don’t even know they have it, and similarly, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and reversed through healthy behavioural changes. Countless lives could be saved by enabling patients to better understand the trends within their bodies. Zedsen makes this as simple as wearing a second skin sensor and having a watchful doctor in your pocket to guide you and keep you safe.
Of course, the technology itself isn’t simple at all. Honeywell explains that Zedsen sensors create a 3-Dimensional electrical field that measures the permittivity and conductivity of materials. When coupled with complex algorithms, they are capable of harmlessly measuring biological tissue, without the need for biopsy or fluid sample collection.
Like many “eureka” moments, the essence of the technology was the culmination of deep research and a serendipitous flash of inspiration. Honeywell—who then had a consultancy business—received an excited phone call from world-renowned sensor expert, Dr Hrand Mamigonians. During the creation of his latest pressure sensor, some accidentally spilled coffee grains producing erratic observational readings had triggered a scientific revelation. The properties of any substance Dr Mamigonians subsequently tested displayed their own unique “electrical signature”: from arthritis in his wife’s hand to a sachet of washing up liquid hidden inside a book. “Whilst the potential applications of this technology were overwhelmingly vast, we decided that if we could do anything, we should save lives,” explained Honeywell. “We were lucky enough to bring eminent engineer Sir Charles Masefield on board as Chairman, and Zedsen was formed.”
Five years later, Zedsen have secured 46 global patents and become one of the top ten fastest growing tech companies in the UK. John Sculley, health tech investor and former CEO at Apple and PepsiCo joined Zedsen as Strategic Advisor after being captivated by the technology: “Zedsen will not only lead to transformational insights for the individual, but to scalable data collection – observationally and clinically – to revolutionise healthcare as a whole.” Honeywell leaves us with an inspiring vision for what is to come: “The roadmap ahead is epic, but we’re up for the challenge. This goes far beyond wearables to track health markers; the next generation of biosensors will transform patient care and become a new form of screening, diagnosis and treatment.”
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