Developing and marketing a medical product in just one year is already exceptional. But especially if there is already a pile of preorders waiting for you. Yet Usono succeeded with ProbeFix.
Last May, the start-up Usono from Eindhoven participated in the HighTechXL programme that helps start-ups to develop faster. Benjamin Tchang, Victor Darker and Jori Verbeek, three alumni of the TU/e, had an idea for a system that fixes an ultrasound device on the patient's body.
With ProbeFix, the echo head is fixed to the body by means of a clever mechanism and adjustable straps,"explains co-founder Victor Donker. This fixation ensures that organs and muscles can be displayed in a stable manner over a longer period of time. This makes the picture of heart valves, for example, more accurate and reduces the burden on both doctor and patient. The system also offers new possibilities. So you can now make dynamic and long-lasting echoes of a muscle, so far could not".
Usono's idea was picked up right away, especially in the hospitals with which the Eindhoven start-up collaborated from the very beginning. We develop everything together with hospitals; that's our end users,"says Donker. "Then you know what the market wants, but also when the product is finished. And that was much faster than expected. Within a year, Usono was able to visit Dutch and Belgian hospitals with a perfect working product. We also received orders directly. But we did not yet have a CE mark, that it complies with European rules, so we could not sell it yet. Now that it has been granted, we can open up the European market,"explains Dark.
"For that purpose, we have concluded a distribution contract with the Danish Mermaid Medical. This will take care of distribution in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia over the next four years. We are still looking for distributors for Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. Usono, which now consists of seven people, has started production. The storage takes place for the time being at home, on the High Tech Campus,"says Dark. We do cooperate a lot with other parties, especially in the region. For example, Conpak in Beek en Donk treats and wraps the tires, various parts of the ProbeFix are cast at SKM Modelling in Helmond and Demcon in Son has supported us in obtaining the CE mark".
Usono's next step will be expanding the market. First in Southern and Eastern Europe. Then we want to move on to the United States and Asia and India.
Source: Eindhovens Daily Journal