It was a Shark Tank-like competition, with small entrepreneurs pitching their most innovative ideas for improving health and cutting costs for consumers. Sponsored by Medical Specialties Distributors (MSD), the Pitch Tank competition featured six competitors and a judging panel of business experts, including Shark Tank cast member Kevin Harrington at MSD’s Healthcare Innovation & Technology Conference in Miami earlier this year.
The winner, Nancy Creadon Stamps, founder and president of Snap Medical Industries, walked away from the competition with $10,000 and the promise of support from the judges: “A well-deserved award for an incredibly passionate and talented healthcare professional,” said Pitch Tank judge Christos M. Cotsakos, Ph.D., an accomplished venture capitalist, healthcare, technology and business executive. “Nancy exceeded expectations in every area of the Pitch Tank’s criteria for quality, affordable, convenient and sustainable patient care.”
Stamps explained to the judges the concept behind her product Epinephrine Snap-V, an easy-to-use convenience kit that can quickly save the life of someone in anaphylactic shock. The kit is currently available to health care providers at a fraction of the cost of other epinephrine delivery systems. Stamps demonstrated that many doctor’s offices pay $2,000 to have epinephrine auto-injectors on-hand in case of emergency. Her kit costs doctors $100 for the same protection.
“In our first year with this product, we have saved health care providers $1.7 million by providing them a cost-efficient alternative to expensive auto-injectors,” says Stamps. “We hope to see that number quadruple in the coming year by adapting to market needs. We will soon launch our own proprietary syringe to make dosing even easier in an emergency situation. This will really help ambulance workers and others who must act quickly to save lives. We also hope to expand our market reach from medical professionals to consumers who need a better, affordable alternative to epinephrine auto-injectors.”
Stamps says she will use the Pitch Tank prize money to continue to expand awareness and usage of the Epinephrine Snap-V and The Epinephrine Syringe. “We are a growing company that has penetrated a very controversial epinephrine market,” says Stamps. “We have successfully created a better way for health care providers to be prepared and treat anaphylaxis. We are also doing our part to drive costs down.”
Other Pitch Tank participants included a company providing a pill bottle capping device to control the dispensing of medication; a mobile platform for text-based group therapy; an artificial intelligence platform that uses biopsy data to diagnose breast cancer in less than one millisecond; an artificial intelligence, voice-powered virtual nurse/health assistant; and real-time search software for senior living facilities. Pitch tank judges included Shark Tank cast member Kevin Harrington, MSD’s own Board Director; Christos Cotsakos, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Pennington Ventures, LLC, and former Chairman and CEO of E*TRADE; Steve Metzger, healthcare board member to the Rand Corporation and healthcare investor; Dan Greenleaf, President and CEO of BioScrip; Betsy Atkins, CEO of Baja Ventures, Board Member and Advisor; and Dr. Javeed Siddiqui, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of TeleMed2U.