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Are you a health care professional who has a commerical idea involving technology that could improve health but don’t know where to start ? 

Undoubtedly inspired by the enthusiasm (and success) of the entrepreneurs presenting, this was one of the hot topics of discussion at the .Med medical innovation meeting in Dublin this month. Here’s a few of the suggestions that were made by our panel of speakers and from the audience that might help you bring your idea to fruition.

Healthfounders is a a company founded by the inimitable Australian Dr. Johnny Walker. Johnny is a radiologist and successful medical entrepreneur who has built and sold a successful global diagnostics company. He wants to leverage Health Informatics to create compelling personalised digital and mobile solutions for the stakeholders of the wider Healthcare ecosystem. Johnny wants to ‘pour petrol’ on the ideas of medical and health entrepreneurs and ignite their energies.

If you have an idea for a technology that disrupts health, you could do a lot worse than go and have a cup of coffee with Johnny in the Hermitage Clinic. 


HealthXL is an accelerator program specifically designed for helping people with ideas for disrupting health with breakthrough technology. They bring people with ideas together with the people who have the necessary expertise to help them ‘accelerate’ those ideas to a point where they are likely to attract investors and customers. The whole programme takes three months.

This program is run by experienced entrepreneurs and backed by leading global health investors, medical professionals and corporates.

I was lucky enough to act as a mentor on the first HealthXL ‘checkup’ weekend where a variety of people (including health care professionals, expert patients, technology startup companies) came along and pitched their ‘raw’ idea to the group. HealthXL is like a combination between the Xfactor (with more nurturing than humiliation although some ‘tough love’ is dispensed) and Dragons den (except the Dragons are nicer). They also serve beer.

HealthXL is funded by a number of sponsors which means that its free of charge to participate in the programme which is based in Trinity development campus. 

 i360medical is a new, Dublin based, healthcare solutions and medical device innovation company. The principle behind i360medical is to act as an international and national innovation enabler and hub that has the expertise necessary to take new healthcare ideas and medical technologies to market. The company, led by CEO Derek Young, will act as a conduit between healthcare, academic and business, to develop and commercialise new ideas and solutions.

Dr. Philip Gardiner who is a rheumatologist based in Derry was one our speakers. He spoke of how he developed his data glove for rheumatoid arthritis with the assistance of the local translational medicine unit in his local hospital (Altnagelvin Hospital). 

Philip says of C-Tric; ‘They are specifically designed to ‘kick-start’ good ideas with funding, facilities and/or to help organise research assistants. They provided some kick start funding to buy our first dataglove (the application for this was really straightforward) – and they have provided advisory support to get us through the various ethics applications. The computing team at UU (Magee) have invested 2 years of PhD work on the project so far which has proved very productive.’ If you have an idea, perhaps one which may require significant clinical research, as well as technological know how and funding, your local translational medicine department may be a good place to start. 

If you have an idea for a health related app which could be used by health care professionals, you should speak to Professor Declan Lyons, clinician and founder of Doctot, a technology company which develops ‘mobile tools for health care professionals’. Declan’s company have developed 18 different applications, ranging from  tools which allow rapid scoring of clinical outcomes in the clinic. Doctot are very happy to speak to any one working within health who has an idea for mobile health app development.