In otherwise normal times, hospitals generate more than than 5 meg tons of waste material each year, according to Greenhealth. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply over the past two years, and information technology was widely reported that some had to reuse what is typically a unmarried-use item, like surgical gowns.
MEDU, a Mexico-based startup, wants to reduce that waste and replace single-wear medical garments through the creation of a line of sustainable, virus-resistant reusable pieces, including surgical gowns, caput coverings and full-body suits.
The company was started in 2020 by CEO Tamara Chayo, a pharmacist and Thiel Fellow, who had family in the medical and cloth industries and saw firsthand the need for PPE. She and her squad began investigating fabrics to see which had the power to capture viruses, and when they began getting positive examination results from the lab, they formed MEDU.
The products are made with fabric that is certified level 4 AAMI PB70, the highest fluid and microbial barrier protection, providing maximum protection confronting particles, viruses and leaner, she told TechCrunch.
The company started trials in Mexican hospitals, buoyed by an initial $400,000 investment, to test and certify the results and see if doctors liked wearing the products.
“Doctors said ours were comfortable for them, simply we did a lot of modifying and learning from that experience,” Chayo said. “The products can be reused for up to 50 washes, so you lot can employ the same gown instead of changing into a different 1, which saves money and waste.”
To figure out those 50 washes, embedded nearly-field communication (NFC) technology in the garments are tracked in real time and healthcare practitioners are informed via a mobile app how many times a gown has been done. After the fifty wears, the garment is returned to MEDU facilities where it is then disinfected and converted into scrubs and sustainable packaging.
The visitor is profitable and continues to grow its revenue at a rate of 6x each month. Since January, it has deployed approximately 7,000 pieces of equipment, which Chayo said is equivalent to 3 meg disposables.
By the end of 2022, the company aims to supplant more than than 20 million single-use PPE gowns and divert vi,000 tons of hospital waste material from landfills or incinerators. In addition, the company has doubled in size and is working with hospitals in New York and Los Angeles.
Supply chain continues to exist a big challenge, and MEDU is among other startups that came onto the scene in the terminal ii years to help hospitals and healthcare practitioners get the equipment and PPE they need. That includes bttn, which raised $xx one thousand thousand in Serial A funds in June for its medical supply marketplace enabling doctors to go supplies they need faster and at improve costs.
MEDU itself is now affluent with $4 meg in seed funding in a circular led by MaC Venture Upper-case letter, with participation from Halcyon Fund and a grouping of affections investors, including Ryan Shea.
The funding gives the company fuel to grow every bit it expands into the U.S. and continues evolution of its full-body adapt. Chayo plans to partner with up to 15 hospitals beyond the U.S. by the end of the year.
She explained that the decision to go after venture capital was to gain partners that would assistance the visitor grow. She feels MaC Venture Capital letter fit that beak — it was already an investor in healthcare companies — and would exist able to give the company easily-on support as MEDU looked to improve and aggrandize in the United States.
MEDU is working on the U.Southward. Nutrient and Drug Administration approval for its garments, which Chayo expects to happen later this year. It also is applying for blessing in the European Marriage and going to starting time edifice relationships in Israel. In the meantime, the company already has approval in Mexico and is working with v hospitals there.
Chayo’s personality, gumption and background every bit a chemist with family in the medical and textile industries made investing in MEDU “one of the easiest decisions I ever fabricated,” Michael Palank, general manager at MaC Venture Capital, told TechCrunch.
“You lot couldn’t script this,” he added. “The traction that she has pre-FDA approving, including trials in some of the biggest well-known hospitals in the U.S., but also those hospitals are introducing her to other hospitals which is the best grade of customer acquisition. MEDU is also doing well in Mexico, where information technology is in one of the country’s biggest hospitals. This couldn’t be more of a global company, and information technology is going to get very big chop-chop.”