The first time I saw Eduardo Jorgensen De Vizcarrondo, the founder of Medicsen, an artificial pancreas that aims to improve the quality of life of people with diabetes, was on September 10th, 2014 at Barajas airport. Then we had 3 months to meet in New York with the first and so far, the only edition of Startups Mansion, a project to help entrepreneurs grow, create a network of contacts and open or expand their ideas in the US market.
I remember Eduardo was one of the 30 participants, younger and restless. A very curious, intelligent and active person, eager to learn from the entrepreneurial world and enjoy the experience, as much as possible. Now, four years later, he has carried out the idea he had and is having great success, receiving funding and recognition from Europe and other continents as well. He has also been one of the innovators under 35 years of the year by the MIT Technology Review. I have spoken with him to know more about his project and the progress in this time.
Eduardo was in consultation as a medical student in May 2014 when a girl with diabetes put the insulin pump on the table saying she was not going to use it anymore because she could not lead a normal life, her friends laughed at her and she was up the noses of using needles. "When it came out, I was talking to the doctor about the possibilities of these patients and the shock was so great that I came up with a way to improve their quality of life thanks to an intelligent artificial pancreas, and shortly after I abandoned the clinical path and my passion by neurosurgery to dedicate myself completely to the project."
1. At what moment do you start to carry out this idea?
As I did with everything before throwing myself in the pool for the first time, the idea ended up stuck in a drawer for a few months without knowing how to take it forward, until September 2014 I received a good opportunity to spend 3 months in New York living with 40 entrepreneurs in the same house and I realized that to create something it only takes will and a lot of work, so when we returned, after gaining some experience with other projects with less social impact, I joined a team in March 2015 and started to generate the vision and mission of our project, which would become a company in August of that year, after receiving funding from Dubai.
2. How does it work?
The non-invasive artificial pancreas that we developed has a software part and other hardware. The computer system receives information from the glucose sensors and activity carried by users today. With that information we predict your future glucose number and we can answer questions like: What happens if I take a coke in 30 minutes? Or What happens if I go running for 1 hour ?. Thanks to this information, patients can plan without uncertainty and at any time they can ask for recipes or activities that come in handy, since we organize a personalized lifestyle plan and we do it through a chat-like interface (such as whatsapp) , so they do not waste time and use it comfortably.
Finally, we developed a syringe without needles in patch format to administer insulin. This device calculates the amount the user needs and automatically and painlessly administers it through the skin.
We have already validated our technology with all the required in vitro studies and now we are looking for the funds to start human testing and to be able to put the physical device on the market by the end of 2019, because the app can now be used by free patients in telephones Android iOS will arrive soon.
3. How many people with diabetes can this pancreas help in Spain? Europe? Worldwide?
In Spain there are more than 4 million patients with Diabetes diagnosed, and it is estimated that there are another 2 million who do not know it. In Europe 60 million and in the world 425 million and will be more than 600 in 2025.
Our device is designed to make life easier for anyone with diabetes, because it is a virtual assistant to lead a healthy and comfortable life, but most party can get are those who have to control their glucose levels daily since They depend on insulin, which is a dangerous drug if it is not used correctly. Our system is able to predict your needs and future glucose levels. These represent around 40% of the group of patients with diabetes
4. Have you considered the evolution of Medicsen and what can be next?
At Medicsen, our mission is to develop technology that can improve the quality of life with chronic diseases and we focus (at least for now) on intelligent data analysis, simple interfaces of user interaction and non-invasive drug administration. All our technology has been developed to be easily adaptable to other chronic diseases and once we have succeeded in diabetes, we will standardize this treatment methodology for other pathologies such as epilepsy or hypertension. And to continue growing later we have several ideas, but today we are focused on the artificial pancreas and to facilitate a healthy and comfortable lifestyle for users.
You can continue reading Part 2 here.