Where are they now? InVenture Prize First Place Winner Ethos Medical has your back

By Jessica Barber

On March 13, 2019, the lives of team members Dev Mandavia, Lucas Muller, and Cassidy Wang began to change. Once Ethos Medical was announced as the winner of the 2019 InVenture Prize, the team witnessed the transformation of their startup. They would now have full confidence in their ultrasound-guided needle system, not to mention $20,000 (sponsored by the TDK Corporation) and a patent filing in their hands.

As the team explained in their pitch last year, most spinal punctures require specialized expertise from medical professionals to place a needle into the spine and, even then, it is done blindly. Seeing this issue, Ethos Medical sought to alleviate the uncertainty by developing a system that shows the needle’s trajectory and location in real time with ultrasound. Their device has the potential to change the face of procedures such as epidurals and spinal taps, increasing safety for both patients and medical staff.

Product and Team Updates

Since winning the InVenture Prize, the team has been working fulltime on the development of Ethos Medical. All three members graduated in 2018, and they are dedicating all their time to bringing Ethos Medical to hospitals and medical schools. The team now has a WEBSITE in which medical personnel can explore Iris, their official needling device that works together with the commonly used Philips Lumify portable ultrasound. 

Ethos Medical has also collaborated with prominent medical professionals. Since last year’s competition, the team has onboarded several clinical advisors such as Dr. Rich Duszak, Emory University’s vice chair for Health Policy and Practice, and Dr. Mike Blaivas, an ultrasound expert and emergency physician at St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Georgia.

Future Endeavors

As the year comes to a close, the team reflected on their current and future plans.

“Our business model will be to sell the devices to hospitals. We’re pre-revenue, and we’re planning to participate in a training bootcamp at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in January,” Mandavia said. As far as the InVenture Prize goes, the team will be able to draw on some of the experiences gained from competing and taking home the grand prize. “Through the pitch practices, we learned how to pitch and tell a story, which will certainly come in handy throughout the course of our startup,” the team stated.

Thoughts on the 2020 InVenture Prize

With the registration deadline a little over a month away, the members of Ethos Medical offered some advice on how to get going with the InVenture Prize process.

“Find a genuine problem in the world and talk to the people who experience that problem the most in order to understand what they need in a solution. Then, build the solution as fast as you can.”