Galway start-up Bluedrop Medical bags €600,000 funding

28 Aug 2016

Bluedrop Medical founders Chris Murphy and Simon Kiersey. Image via Bluedrop Medical

Bluedrop Medical has landed €600,000 in funding, allowing the Galway-based start-up to up its headcount and speed its device to market.

Experts in connected health devices, Bluedrop’s technology allows doctors to detect foot ulcers in diabetics, which if left untreated could result in amputation requirements.

With up to one-in-four diabetics developing foot ulcers at some stage of their lives, the slow-healing properties (taking months, not weeks) can prove uncomfortable and dangerous to patients.

Bluedrop Medical

Around 440 amputations are required annually in Ireland due to these ulcers, though Bluedrop’s device could bring that figure down due to the way it diagnoses the problem early.

The company’s technology was interesting enough for investors already active in the Galway medtech scene, with Ian Quinn, founder of Creganna, and Paul Gilson, founder of MedNova, Novate and Veryan involved.

Graduates of Bank of Ireland’s six-month incubator StartLab, Bluedrop’s founders are are a pair of engineers: Chris Murphy – who won the Irish leg of the James Dyson Award back in 2011 – and Simon Kiersey.

The €600,000 investment will accelerate the product arriving to the market, allowing for key hires in the areas of software engineering, computer vision, medical device R&D, quality and regulatory affairs.

It will also allow the company to complete the next phase of product development, as well as the conducting of pilot clinical work on the device.

The company intends to raise a further funding round within the next 12 months, which will allow them to finalise product development, obtain FDA approval and launch the product in the US.

The US market for this type of technology is incredible, with up to 86,000 amputations annually as a result of diabetic foot ulcers – at an estimated cost of $17bn.

According to Bluedrop, it’s estimated that one-third of all spending on diabetes goes towards foot complications of some regard.

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Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic