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Students enter the Dragons’ Den to pitch for health project


Five students stand up in front of projector screen showing a cartoon graphic above their heads

Prototype medical devices created by students at the University of Bradford won praise from a panel of health experts during a Dragons’ Den-style assessment.

Seven groups of second-year BSc (Hons) Clinical Sciences students were tasked with inventing a new digital medical device, which they pitched to a group of seven industry and healthcare experts from Pharmacy2U and Health Innovation Yorkshire and Humber. 

Projects pitched addressed different healthcare needs from managing different health conditions like menopausal symptoms, allergy, obesity, epilepsy to managing healthcare systems including resource management, medication dispensing and language barriers in NHS.

A group of students in the background stood up delivering a pitch to people sat at a table in the picture's foreground

Through new lectures and workshops introduced this year, the students learned how to create simple prototype and create brand for their projects. The students created the following seven prototypes: Languessist, Seizure smart, Health Journey, ActivePlay Kids, AllerGuard, Digi-patch and Metis – an AI-based healthcare resource manager system.

Five students in smart business-type dress stand up for photos

SeizureSmart and ActivePlayKids were given the backing. Judges agreed the remaining five projects also had potential but needed further development. The format of the annual event was based on the BBC One TV show Dragons’ Den.  

Grace Brookhouse, who was part of the ActivePlay Kids pitching team, said they had been working on the project since October 2023 and it introduced them to new fields of learning. 

She said: “It was quite nerve-racking. It is such a large subject for a project. It goes out of the scope of our degree.” 

Five students dressed smartly stand up in front of projector screen with Metis written on it

Dr Sara Morsy, module lead and event organiser, said: “I am proud of our students for taking part in what was a challenging task. Events such as this really help our students develop transferable skills. 

“Students were taught how to build a basic sensor circuit and then used artificial intelligence (AI) and data management to develop their ideas. They were also given guidance on how to present their work and how to work collaboratively."

Dr Morsy said she would continue to work with students to further develop their project ideas, including pitching them to the Bradford-Renduchintala Enterprise Ecosystem (BREE), a University-led initiative that aims to support entrepreneurs by taking business ideas from concept to market.

Some of the participating Dragons said they were impressed by the standard of pitches from the students who faced them. 

Dr Duncan Reid, Patient Safety Manager from Pharmacy2U, said: “The teams have identified some problems which currently don’t have any good solutions. 

“It is set up to be intimidating, but they have eaten that up to some degree. That has really shone through. You can see a lot of hard work has gone into it.” 

THree students stood on the left and another two students stood on the right present a pitch using a projector screen on a wall behind them

Dr Kimberley Frost, Project Manager at Health Innovation Yorkshire and Humber, said: “I was very excited by what I saw, it blew my expectations away. It makes them (the students) aware that this type of world exists.” 

Meanwhile, this digital health inventions event is another example of the University of Bradford’s search for the business ideas of tomorrow, using a Dragons’ Den-style format. 

BREE, based at the University of Bradford and officially launched in January 2024, is an initiative open to staff, students and members of the public. The University is aiming to become the UK’s number one destination for entrepreneurs. 

BREE has been set up following a £1.25m donation from University of Bradford alumnus Dr Murthy Renduchintala, and a further £1.25m from the University.  

Anyone who has a business idea is urged to email