6 May 2020
Umbilical venous catheterisation is an emergency procedure performed on premature and critically ill newborns who require life-saving drugs to be delivered via a catheter (a thin hollow tube) through the vein of their umbilical cord. At least 400,000 procedures are performed worldwide, but, with no way to locate or visualise the tips of these catheters in real-time, 40% are inserted into babies’ veins incorrectly, causing pain and distress.
Victoria-based medtech startup Navi Medical Technologies hopes to change that. What started in 2016 as a classroom idea during a BioDesign course at the University of Melbourne has since become an award-winning company devoted to the singular task of building and commercialising a medical device that helps doctors track the location of a catheter tip in real-time without an X-ray. This means reduced X-ray exposure, faster delivery of life-saving drugs and improved workflows for busy doctors in intensive care units. Their technology’s potential has been hailed across the medtech industry as revolutionary, with Navi Medical Technologies receiving both the first prize in the Startup Vic HealthTech Pitch Night and the Grand Prize at the Pediatric Device Innovation Symposium in 2017. They’ve also completed several prestigious medical device accelerators, including The Actuator, Australia’s National MedTech Accelerator, and TMCx, a world-renowned accelerator in the Texas Medical Center.
Shing Yue Sheung, one of Navi’s six co-founders and a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia entrepreneur, sat down with Hive Life recently. Born a premature baby himself, Shing reflects on why so few pediatric medical devices cater to newborns, shares his insights on the Melbourne medtech scene and divulges how his team are effectively treating the most vulnerable patient population in the world.
Read the full interview on Hive Life.