Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Ostomy bag sensor start-up receives funding and hires former Miami Dolphins player

Steve Rogerson
August 25, 2015
British start-up 11Health, inventor of a sensor device for monitoring ostomy and stoma bags, has received a second round of funding and hired former Miami Dolphins player Matthew Wilder to lead its push into the US market.
The company’s latest round of funding has raised £775,000 from six angel investors, on top of the initial funding round of £500,000. This brings the total funding to over £1.25m.
This round of funding enables the business to extend the management team and more effectively pursue an aggressive sales and marketing strategy in the UK and USA. It will also help establish the Ostam-I Alert as a leading medical device for bowel disease patients and develop other connected device products across the healthcare marketplace.
The sensor is a discrete device that alerts patients as to how full their ostomy and stoma bags are so that they can decide if and when to empty them. The device clips on to any ostomy bag sending Bluetooth alerts to an app on a mobile device telling the user the bag is filling up.
Wearers can set individual alerts as to when they wish to be notified. The device also captures guidance information about volume of output over a time period and allows users to email that information. In addition, these data are stored safely on the company’s web site allowing users to access them at any time. Each device lasts up to three months
To support the growth strategy, 11Health has appointed James Barbour-Smith as executive chairman. He will be responsible for the continued financial growth and strategic direction of the firm. Barbour-Smith brings to the role more than 20 years of global experience in developing and building businesses through his role as head of portfolio at Gresham Private Equity.
As part of its US growth strategy, 11Health has hired Matthew Wilder, who joins the US team as vice president of sales. Wilder will be responsible for implementing sales and driving growth across America. He has extensive experience in medical sales and played for the American football team Miami Dolphins. The firm is in discussions and trials with a number of well-respected hospitals in the USA including: Stanford University, Massachusetts General and Cedars Sinai (LA).
"We are pleased to welcome James and Matthew to 11Health and look forward to the unique contribution that they will bring to the business,” said Michael Seres, founder of 11Health. “As a connected device company, focused initially on stoma care, our ambition is to become the leading connected device across all medical bags and pouches. These important new appointments, along with this funding, will reinforce our growing presence in the US and British markets, and help bring our global vision to reality.”
Seres, a long-term patient turned innovator, founded 11Health in 2013 with Adam Bloom when he created the Ostam-I Alert device from his hospital bed, after being the 11th person in the UK to undergo a small bowel transplant in 2011.
“We are moving forward at a tremendous pace, and this additional funding will really help us accelerate our product development especially into new markets and build out our sales teams in the UK and in the USA," he said.
Seres was diagnosed with the incurable bowel condition Crohn’s Disease aged 12. After over 20 operations and intestinal failure he became the 11th person to undergo a small bowel transplant in the UK at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford, England. His own experience as an ostomy patient led him to designing the initial Ostom-i prototype while recovering from his transplant.
A published author and professional speaker, Seres was a Stanford Medicine X e-patient scholar (2011) and develops patient engagement strategies for hospitals, primary care trusts and patient groups. He has a background in consumer product licensing and merchandising having worked with major brands such as Fifa, Uefa, The X Factor and The Apprentice. He is the patient lead for the main UK health Twitterchat #NHSSM and digital strategy advisor to the Oxford Transplant Foundation, where he helped implement the first Skype clinics.