In today’s episode of the Global Medical Device Podcast Jon Speer welcomes Sara Naab to the show.
Sara is the co-founder and director of quality and marketing for Sandstone Diagnostics.
Sara shares with us insights into what it has been like going from idea, to raising funding, to being name one of the 40 most innovative life sciences companies in the Bay Area.
Pretty impressive and interesting stuff.
It all started in the summer of 2012. The company makes consumer wellness products to help people better understand their health.
They provide over the counter results of tests to patients and physicians.
Sara begins the discussion with the company’s first product, Trak. Trak is an app that will help men monitor their sperm count and helps them learn how to improve their fertility.
Medical devices are expensive for a reason. Getting started is hard. Money will always be a challenge. That is her opening advice to startups.
At the beginning of Sandstone, Sara was pregnant. Her first suggestion to her co-founder (her husband) was a pregnancy test. This suggestion lead to the idea to create a sperm counter.
After researching the topic, they learned about a void in the market that was not being addressed. Not too surprisingly, sperm testing is a very delicate and private subject for most men.
Turns out sperm count is a sign of good health and being able to monitor it is very empowering to the patient. A number of factors can affect sperm count such as diet, stress, and even weight gain.
Sara says humor is actually very important when handling patients and being non-judgemental is key to helping men talk and think about their health.
Trak is a mini centrifuge that will take a sperm sample from a patient and spin it so the cells can be analyzed. Then the app is used to track the progress. The service is in the trial stage right now.
Manufacturing, investors, and regulations are among the obstacles Sara lists as the biggest challenges.
The design control, risk management and production are some of the positives Sandstone has going for them.
Sara thinks the importance of education has played into their success and the quality of their team.
She advises other medtech startups to consider the customer and remember who you are helping.
About The Global Medical Device Podcast:
The Global Medical Device Podcast powered by Greenlight Guru is where today's brightest minds in the medical device industry go to get their most useful and actionable insider knowledge, direct from some of the world's leading medical device experts and companies.