Good to see you Arshia. So –
Can you tell me more about Eupnoos?
Eupnoos is on a mission to address inequities in access to respiratory healthcare – especially in the preventive space. Eupnoos is an app-first platform that creates a ‘digital twin’ from lung sounds to identify disease biomarkers and facilitate early diagnosis and better self-management.
Respiratory disease affects one in five people in the UK, and lung disease is the third largest cause of death globally – affecting 6% of the global population.
More than 800 million people suffer from asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease globally, with significant patient populations being undiagnosed or not properly medicated, which leads to decreased quality of life, and elevated risks of comorbidities and mortality. And at-risk groups include low-income communities, women and children. 1.1 million children in the UK receive treatment for asthma each year – that’s a huge figure! And we expect this to increase due to the impact of indoor and outdoor air pollution, amongst other environmental threats, as a result of climate change.
While the number of people impacted by respiratory diseases is increasing, healthcare resources are dwindling. There is a global shortage of respiratory clinicians and the consequences are an ever-increasing time to diagnosis and treatment.
This global unmet need was the catalyst for Eupnoos and is the reason why we have taken a strategic decision to focus on helping people maintain good lung health throughout their lifetime.
Our software app is designed as a screening tool for respiratory disease combining multimodal data captured by smartphone sensors. Over time our audio biomarkers will diagnose diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibrotic diseases and even heart failure.
Our approach is to use these early and actionable insights to empower patients to identify their own symptoms and severity, and for care teams to access longitudinal data to make the right treatment decisions.
Can you tell me more about your product development journey?
There are two key areas of focus for Eupnoos – large-scale datasets and designing for digital inclusion.
As we are working in a very new area of technology implementation, the Eupnoos solution opens up a huge opportunity to create large-scale data sets by collecting multivariate data through the app.
And to capture this data, the user experience is essential to Eupnoos.
Patient-centricity underpins our product decisions. We want to make sure our platform is accessible to everyone, regardless of educational background or language. We’ve established close collaborations with user groups, including Care Ashore and Workplace Safety & Health Institute, for the co-development of our digital interface and user experience.
Let me give you an example, we found that people tended to struggle with not having a mouthpiece to use while doing the test. We’ve created an adaptive interface that acts like a ‘magic mirror‘ that helps people through the process. This is just one of the many human factor design approaches in our product.
What would you say have been your key successes?
My team! They have been the most important factor to the growth of Eupnoos because building a healthcare start-up is not easy!
I have a background in smartphone technology, working for Nokia and Microsoft, and I have previously established and built a tech start-up, so I have that Silicon Valley ‘can-do’ attitude which I believe fuels the innovation process.
Our team of clinicians collaborate with our engineers, brilliantly complementing each other’s expertise, and our clinicians are extremely open to the opportunities offered by new technology applications.
We’ve been incredibly fortunate that at this early stage we’ve had many successes, the most notable being the AstraZeneca Challenge sponsored by their Singapore teams last year which has resulted in a relationship with them.
We have also been nominated as a “Deep Tech Pioneer’ by Hello Tomorrow and won places on accelerators, including the Mass Challenge HealthTech and the P4 Accelerator.
What connections / partnerships are you seeking to make for the next stage of your business growth?
Right now we are looking to get our technology validated with specific population cohorts, such as people with asthma, COPD and fibrotic diseases who have their care needs managed in the community. We’d be looking to co-develop the technology application with them so that we understand how to serve them best.
We are also looking to attract capital which will allow us to continue to develop the technology, collect the data and begin the validation and comparator testing. We are looking to raise a seed round of £1.5 million to get to our first milestone, a UKCA / CE Class I device that can be used in a health and wellness context to help people understand their lung health.
This is a major unmet need because, as COVID has shown us, there is no baseline data available to any of us regarding the true state of our lungs. Lung function testing is not part of routine health visits. This is one the reasons why the medical community has been unable to pinpoint why COVID has affected certain individuals more than others. Eupnoos could be the answer to creating that baseline database.
And finally, can you tell us about your experience of participating in the P4SY Accelerator Programme?
I can only say that it’s been amazing!
I’ve really appreciated all the introductions and the support as well as meeting the rest of the cohort. And having you guys!
You’ve put in so much enthusiasm and that go-get attitude really makes the P4SY programme stand-out from other accelerator programmes. The meetings that you have set-up, such as with the University of Sheffield SITRAN, wouldn’t have been possible without your support and we are already seeing the results. So thank you for all your hard work.