Thermetrix Ltd has secured £500,000 investment for its latest venture to support the development of a diabetic footcare system. The funding includes £200,000 seed investment from the Development Bank of Wales as well as business angels and corporate support. The equity investment, which has come from the Wales Technology Seed Fund, will also back the launch of Podium, for both home and professional use, working with nursing homes, podiatrists and other medical professionals.
Established in 2018, Thermetrix, based in Abercynon is working with a team of experts to produce Podium, giving people with diabetes an easy and fast way to check the soles of their feet and seek earlier intervention from their healthcare team to prevent further complications. Using thermal imaging technology, the system can be used to take a daily image of their feet which can then be shared with their podiatrist or GP through a cloud-based dashboard app.
Diabetes is rising around the world, with the global number of people with diabetes due to rise 48% from 425m (2017) to 629m by 2045. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop complications including foot ulcers, which may lead to amputation. In the UK alone, 6,000 amputations due to diabetes are carried out each year by the NHS.
Thermetrix was launched by Dr Peter Plassmann, to bring Podium to market and help improve the lives of millions of people with diabetes. He was instrumental in a National Institute for Health Research funded project looking into diabetic foot ulceration, headed by the National Physical Laboratory under the clinical lead of King’s College, London. To coincide with World Diabetes Day on 14 November, Thermetrix attended the Diabetes Professional Care Conference in London to display Podium.
Dr Peter Plassmann, Co-CEO and Founder of Thermetrix, said:
“Detecting diabetic foot complications as early as possible is crucial as people with diabetes could suffer from a loss of feeling in their feet, which can lead to foot ulcers which increases the risk of amputation. Once a patient has received an amputation, their quality of life is impacted. More worryingly, life expectancy is 5 years post-amputation, on average.
“Podium allows people to take control of their own wellbeing and contact their healthcare professional much earlier if they have any queries. The investment from the Development Bank of Wales has helped us develop this innovative system that will help so many people with diabetes.”
Sarah Smith who led the round for the Development Bank of Wales’ Wales Technology Seed Fund, said:
“For diabetes patients, this is an exciting and easy to use product that has the potential to provide early detection of foot complications which could lead to fewer amputations and improve treatment.
“This is an alarmingly fast-growing health problem, but Podium provides an opportunity to improve health and limit the complications caused by diabetes, not to mention reduce treatment costs. This makes it a perfect fit for the Wales Technology Seed Fund which supports companies like Thermetrix and helps them bring their products to market. The Development Bank of Wales is pleased to support Peter and his team and wish them every success.”