The founders of Inspiration Medical Technology are launching a medical-grade wound care product for the consumer market and leveraging crowdfunding to inform nad educate.

April 18, 2013

3 Min Read
Device Startup Takes To Crowdfunding to Build Consumer Awareness of Its Product

The founders of Inspiration Medical Technology believe that while people are being asked to take charge of their health, they don't have the right tools, information and products to be able to do so.

It is into this vacuum that the Minnesota startup is stepping in to launch a medical-grade wound care product that will help people suffering from so-called nuisance bleeding.

Simply put, nuisance bleeding is any small cut on the skin that tends to bleed longer than five minutes. Nuisance bleeding can also be nosebleeds that are a common side effect of people on anti-platelet therapy such as Aspirin.

To manage conditions like this, Inspiration Medical Technology has licensed a medical-grade technology from another Minnesota wound-care firm and plans to launch a product for the consumer market this summer. Called AllaQuix, it is a hemostatic pad made from medical-grade chitosan, which can rapidly control bleeding and promote wound healing, said Stephen Miller, co-founder of Inspiration Medical. He added that AllaQuix has been cleared by the FDA. The product will be available for less than $5 a pad either from or through people's healthcare providers, says Patrick Donohue, also a co-founder. Donohue says one in three U.S. adults suffer from nuisance bleeding.

Donohue and Miller are finalizing a kit, where the hemostatic pad will come bundled with other bandages, gauzes and information on nuisance bleeding. Most of the sales of AllaQuix are expected to be through kits and not individual pads, Donohue says.

But nuisance bleeding is not something that people are aware of. And this is where the company's crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, a site where companies can launch their crowdfunding campaigns, comes in. Crowdfunding is a way to get small amounts of money online from large numbers of people who aren't necessarily sophisticated investors. Inspiration Medical's campaign is expected to launch early next week.

"The biggest business challenge we have is to create awareness of nuisance bleeding," Donohue says. "Crowdfunding is a perfect platform to begin educating people about nuisance bleeding and how they can get professional medical products."

People need to understand that AllaQuix will cost more than the average bandage and pad because they are getting a chitosan-based product that is typically not readily available to consumers, but have been historically used in professional medical and military settings, Donohue says. In other words, consumers need to be educated on the benefits of such a technology and through the Indiegogo campaign Donohue and Miller hope to achieve that. Currently the hemostats available to consumers are in powder or foam form, but Donohue says that his research indicates that consumers prefer pads and bandages. 

"AllaQuix is soft and flexible like gauze and it does not cause any burning or stinging at the site of the wound, but it offers advanced technology in controlling bleeding," Donohue says.

The target amount that AllaQuix wants to raise through its crowdfunding campaign is $4,500. If it can, it will instantly validate the value of the product in the target customer base, something that both the co-founders and five investors in Inspiration Medical must be looking forward to.

Here's the video that will accompany the Indiegogo campaign featuring characters who are afraid to shave because of the potential for little cuts. 

 -- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI

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