ShanX Medtech develops solutions to support doctors worldwide

Published on:
2 November 2023

Meet medical entrepreneur Sophia Shanko, founder and CEO of ShanX Medtech – an innovative medical hardware startup. Her product helps doctors offer better treatment for bacterial infections and prescribe the right antibiotics. She impressed the medical community with her cutting-edge solution. What is her strategy?

sophia shanko

Faster diagnosis and treatment

Sophia uses the example of cystitis to explain how her innovation works. Cystitis is a common bacterial infection. Many people consult their general practitioner (GP) and get antibiotics to treat this condition. "The GP first makes a diagnosis. This is often done using a urine sample and a test strip. Even when the doctor is sure the patient has a bladder infection, they must select the right antibiotic for that particular person." ShanX Medtech develops smart hardware that enables doctors to confirm that a patient has a bacterial infection within a day, instead of the current multiple days. It also helps them prescribe the best antibiotic.

Global contacts

Producing specialised hardware takes time. "We must follow many healthcare standards. It means that it can take a long time to get the product to market," Sophia explains. With that in mind, she set up meetings to discuss her innovation with Dutch and international parties. "Most of our current contacts are part of the Dutch medical community. It is beneficial from a strategic point of view, as there are strict rules about antibiotics in the Netherlands." ShanX Medtech is also in contact with doctors in other parts of Europe and beyond.

The company received support and input from doctors. "We still have the opportunity to adapt the hardware to their needs. It means we can develop a product that reflects what users want."

Funding through subsidies

ShanX Medtech applied for regional subsidies with the Dutch government and the European Commission. Such as Eurostars, a programme for innovative startups focused on internationalisation. "The Netherlands Enterprise Agency helped us in our efforts. For example, they explained the criteria for the various subsidies and the aspects I should emphasise in the application."

Importance of international expansion

Sophia stresses the importance of international expansion: "If your product or service solves challenges that affect people worldwide, you are selling yourself and society short if you do not take your business across national borders."

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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