News & Media

QMC Invests in Three Michigan-Based Startups Developing Innovative Health Care Solutions and Products

QMC Invests in Three Michigan-Based Startups Developing Innovative Health Care Solutions and Products

Quantum Medical Concepts invests in Alerje, Airway Innovations, and The Patient Company

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Quantum Medical Concepts (QMC) today announced new partnerships with three Michigan-based healthcare startup companies, with each receiving funding to help bring their groundbreaking healthcare innovations to market.


“It’s always exciting to find young, promising companies on the verge of bringing a game-changing medical innovation to market, and that’s exactly what we’ve found Alerje, Airway Innovations, and the Patient Company,” said Benjamin Louagie, Managing Director of Quantum. “QMC is thrilled to partner with these three companies and assist in their efforts to deliver products and technologies that will undoubtedly benefit Michigan patients and providers.”

Detroit-based Alerje is developing technology to help manage a growing global epidemic—food allergies. Today, over 220 million people worldwide suffer from food allergies with food allergy insurance claims rising at an alarming rate in recent years. Led by Javier, Evelyn, a patient entrepreneur, Alerje has developed a comprehensive food allergy management platform to help improve the quality of life for those suffering from severe food allergies. The app include resources for healthy living, offers allergen-safe recipes and provides a food label scanner. Additionally, the startup is working on a smartphone case that carries a slim epinephrine auto-injector, and when used in conjunction with the app, alerts will be sent to 911 operators, parents, spouses and other care-givers if the injector is removed from its case.


“Despite how pervasive food allergies have become, an alarming number of families aren’t prepared to address a life-threatening reaction,” said Javier Evelyn, Chief Operating Officer of Alerje. “Fewer than 40 percent of patients leave the house with an epinephrine injector, and roughly half that do have one are carrying around expired medicine. However, almost no one leaves home without their cell phone—a fact that very well could save lives when coupled with our product.”

On the other side of the state, Grand-Rapids based Airway Innovations is developing advanced airway management solutions, including TubeTrac™, the Oral Tracheal tube holder designed to prevent unplanned extubations. The revolutionary endotracheal tube support system was launched to a limited number of pre-selected clinical sites in September 2020. Funding from QMC will help Airway Innovations scale their production capabilities to meet the demands of a full commercial launch.


“Unplanned extubations has always been a problem for clinicians but the consequences have become more acute as ventilator usage has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Eric VanMiddendorp, Chief Operating Officer of Airway Innovations. “It requires significantly more force to remove a breathing tube connected with TubeTrac™, which greatly mitigates the risk of injury and further complications to patients connected to breathing tubes.”

Mitigating the risk of injury to providers is the SimPull—a fully automated lateral patient transfer device developed by The Patient Company. Transferring patients is the number two cause of healthcare employee injuries in the United States, resulting in over 12,000 injuries a year to healthcare providers. Done safely, the process of transferring a patient from one horizontal surface to another takes roughly 22 minutes and typically requires four to eight staff members. Alternatively, the SimPull device can be operated by one clinician and takes less than a minute to safely perform a lateral transfer.


“SimPull not only protects clinicians from injury but also removes a huge workflow efficiency bottleneck for facilities using our technology,” said Andrew Heuerman, Chief Operating Officer of The Patient Company. “It’s a product that makes sense everywhere but one we feel will be particularly beneficial to smaller and understaffed hospitals and facilities.”


Launched in 2014 with initial funding from the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS), Quantum Medical Concepts works to fill a critical gap in the development of medical advancements in Michigan. The fund focuses on identifying medical companies with promising ideas that are not yet ready for market, and then providing the seed funding and management support necessary to successfully navigate through the initial stages of product development.


In addition to funding and support Quantum provides startups with access to MSMS’s network of more than 15,000 member physicians, who provide invaluable insight through the early development phases of new medical devices and technology. 

 

 

 

Quantum Medical Concepts is a partnership of the Michigan State Medical Society and Common Wealth Enterprises. Through this partnership Quantum provides early-stage investment funding to Michigan companies in the medical sector. In addition to investing in startup funding, Quantum provides access to more than 15,000 medical professionals and active management support for our portfolio companies. For more information, please visit http://quantummedicalconcepts.com.