An Inverness life sciences start-up has secured six-figure investment to create jobs and drive development of its “eyes in the skies” in-flight medical monitoring technology.
Mime Technologies, which spun out of the University of Aberdeen, has designed a product to “revolutionise” the support given to aircraft cabin crew responding to medical emergencies that unfold in the air.
The medtech has raised a combined £255,000 from a Scottish Enterprise grant and first-round investment led by Edinburgh angel firm Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) to scale its technology, designed specifically for environments where there is no immediate access to professional medical care.
The funding boost will be used to accelerate new customer growth and create three high-skilled jobs at the firm, based in life sciences hub the Centre for Health Science in Inverness.
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Mime secured a Smart: Scotland feasibility grant for research and development in sensor technologies, a key function of its system that integrates a library of Bluetooth, clinical-grade sensors to enable real-time monitoring of a patient’s vital signs. This allows the user to identify and track any deterioration or improvement in the patient’s condition.
Its technology translates this data into a “seamless handover” to emergency services personnel who will take on the case after landing.
Mime was founded by Alasdair Mort, who holds a medical device PhD from the University of Aberdeen, and Anne Roberts, an honorary researcher at the institution.
The medtech recently completed field trials with a global aviation group and claims to have multiple commercial and business jet customers in the pipeline.
The International Air Transport Association expects four billion passengers to travel this year.
Chief executive Roberts said: “Diverting an aircraft is an expensive and technically complex business. Although many carriers have voice support to doctors on the ground, it is often difficult for them to ‘review and recommend’ because of limited data.
“With four billion passengers currently travelling around the globe per year, which is predicted to double by 2036, securing new funding will help us to meet the needs of a growing market while supporting our first sales with UK and international airlines.”
Equity Gap director Fraser Lusty hailed the opportunities Mime’s technology can address, adding: “The aviation industry is well aware of the cost and disruption of in-flight medical emergencies so the Mime solution is being well received and we envisage the investment will accelerate the commercial adoption.”
Kerry Sharp, director of the SIB, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, said: “It’s great to see Mime Technologies continue to flourish and to harness the power of data with potentially life-saving consequences.”
The funding deal represents the latest in a string of investments involving both Equity Gap and SIB, including Edinburgh smart alarm venture Boundary and Shot Scope Technologies, a Scottish wearable tech firm that produces a GPS-based, performance-tracking golf watch.