Smart mini patch for diabetics

QuLab Medical is one of three startups participating in this year's Heraeus Accelerator Program. The startup wants to help diabetics better monitor their metabolism - with a tiny patch that provides various data in real time. In an interview, CEO Idan Tamir explains where knowledge gaps still exist in medical technology and how Heraeus is helping with product development.

Heraeus has been launching its annual Accelerator program for startups since 2019. The Accelerator offers startups the opportunity to further develop and market their ideas and products together with experts from Heraeus. This year, the focus is on the areas of medical technology and sensors. A total of three startups were able to convince the Heraeus jury - one of them is the startup QuLab Medical, founded in 2016 at Tel Aviv University. The company scored points with its minimally invasive patch for diabetics.

Nanosensors measure blood glucose levels in real time

If diabetics want to monitor their blood glucose levels, they can leave this to sensors inserted under the skin that measure blood glucose. Up to now, the measuring devices available on the market have not transmitted any other metabolic data. QuLab Medical wants to change that. The newly developed patch is not only minimally invasive, i.e. as small, and inconspicuous as possible, but also provides data on other metabolic products and biomarkers - in real time. This helps diabetics create their personalized metabolic profile and make better diet and lifestyle decisions based on it.

In an interview, CEO Idan Tamir explains how the product can be made ready for the market and how Heraeus is helping him achieve this.

Why are you participating in the Accelerator program?

The potential to cooperate with strategic partners for manufacturing technologies and scaling up is critical to our success. Learning from such partners is vital to our growth.

Where do you still see crucial technology or knowledge gaps in medicine?

We believe that decentralized and personalized medical diagnosis and treatment are the future, especially with regards to early diagnosis, prognosis, and disease prevention.

How has the Heraeus Accelerator helped you to further develop your product?

One of our biggest challenges is assembling our sensor chip and integrating it with the patch that also carries the electronics and power supply modules. This entire assembly process relies heavily on our ability to integrate the chip its metal support and carrier PCB, allowing for mechanical stability, electrical connectivity, and assembly process scaleup and automation at a later point in time. Heraeus Medical Components have shown expertise in helping select the required bonding glue and alignment tools to enable this important chip assembly process.

How has the Accelerator changed your view of Heraeus?

First, we have not known much about Heraeus when we first applied for the program. From what we could see from your website and publications it seemed that there were certain technologies and capabilities within Heraeus that could be synergistic with our core capabilities. The accelerator program allowed us to interact more openly and exchange ideas with the Heraeus Medical Components team, which helped us better understand the unique and variable capabilities that Heraeus can bring to our collaboration.

Would you recommend the Heraeus Accelerator to other startups, and if so, why?

I certainly would. I believe that this kind of exchange of technological ideas and solutions to challenges between startups and larger companies can spur ideation and bring with it a lot of innovation, benefiting both collaborative parties.