With an engineering background, Dr Melissa Berthelot, is a Fellow at the Enterprise Hub of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Particularly focusing on developing patient-centric tools for clinicians, she has experience in fast-tracked medical device prototypes development and conducting in-vivo clinical studies.
Melissa is the founder of WarnerPatch, a medical device start-up that focuses on the prediction of disease degradation using specifically designed sensing technology. Particularly focusing on peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), which include diabetic foot and wound care, WarnerPatch reduces the treatment cycle by improving patient management for clinicians and healthcare providers.
What was the idea borne out of/ what is the main challenge that the product is trying to solve?
PVD has a long treatment cycle which can lead to sepsis, embolism, amputation, or, death. Depending on the patient status, the disease often evolves either too fast or too slow and clinicians do not have a clear overview of the disease evolution at the current clinical assessment frequency. It often leads to late recognition of disease degradation and advanced complications.
In the UK, there are 5000 unnecessary amputations a year of PVD patients due to poor patient management and long treatment cycles; with 50% higher chances of death within a year. It costs another £1M to the NHS per amputee. WarnerPatch will reduce these numbers to zero.
When did the idea first move into development?
The idea first moved into development in 2019.
Who is the main target audience for the platform?
Healthcare providers and clinicians.
Is the platform live? If not, wherein the development stage is the project at?
No, we are aiming to commercialise our product in early 2022.
How did you find the Propel@YH application process?
The interview with all relevant partners was very challenging, especially considering the time available.
What have you found the most insightful or useful part of the programme so far?
The discussions about real-life cases and clear applicable insights on how the NHS works and how our innovation could integrate within the clinical pathway and procurement process.
What advice would you give to yourself if you were to apply again?
Trust that you know your product and its users enough to outstand a crowd of experts.
What are you most looking forward to learning about in the programme’s masterclasses?
To know more about how to integrate innovations within the different healthcare providers.