Innovate UK young innovators look to change the world

Mihir Sheth
Mihir Sheth

A 28-year-old from Oxford is one of this year’s Innovate UK Young Innovators.

In 2020, when the whole world was interested in getting people on the ventilator, two Oxford Global Insight Fellows, Mihir Sheth and Dr. Myra Malik partnered up to understand the need and create a novel solution.

RespiTrain is being developed to wean patients off the ventilator quicker – to reduce the time spent by patients on the ventilator by 30 per cent, saving the NHS more than £1 billion annually.

Mihir co-invented Inspiritus Health, a simple to use, non-invasive medical device that keeps patients’ muscles engaged when they are on a ventilator to prevent muscle wastage.

The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people who have great business ideas and the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation.

Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) supports the programme through the delivery of workshops and briefing events. It provides practical business advice to a network of over 8,000 young people across the UK.

Hundreds of these aspiring entrepreneurs then apply to the programme and, following a robust evaluation process, 63 innovators have started the new year with a boost after winning the coveted award.

Mihir Sheth, said: “During the pandemic, naturally the attention globally was on the need to get seriously ill patients on ventilators.

“But I became increasingly frustrated as I saw patients slowly wasting away, with no-one considering how to quickly get patients off the ventilators.

“After six days, a patient can lose up to 32 per cent of their respiratory muscle strength.

“I paired up with a consultant anaesthetist to develop a non-invasive device to keep the patient’s muscles engaged from the first day of ventilation.

“I feel incredibly grateful to be part of this cohort of winners.”

Other winning products included:

Projects include: a washing machine that re-uses shower water, 3D printed knee replacements, a way of turning bottle tops into furniture, designers turning fish skins into bags.

The young winners have been given a £5,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance to cover living costs.