Oxford based Card Medic wins women and tech startup competition


Oxford-based start-up CardMedic, which launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to help UK healthcare professionals communicate with patients, has won the world’s largest startup competition for women and technology, it has been reported.

Rachael Grimaldi, who developed the CardMedic app during her maternity leave, competed to win the prize with 5,000 female entrepreneurs in 70 countries. She will now receive an investment prize of $50,000, along with mentoring and facetime with leading venture capitalists.

Last October, Card Medic signed its first commercial agreement with a hospital trust.

Based in The Oxford Trust’s Oxford Centre for Innovation, CardMedic has developed an app that offers online flashcards to guide patients through common clinical interactions, and it will be now available to healthcare professionals across University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

While caught by travel restrictions in the US in March 2020, Rachael Grimald read an article about a COVID-19 patient’s terrifying experience of not understanding hospital workers through their PPE. Within 72 hours, Dr Grimaldi created an app to help her NHS frontline colleagues communicate with patients with hearing, sight, or language difficulties, cognitive impairment, learning disabilities or literacy issues, or those who need to be treated by a healthcare professional wearing PPE.

The CardMedic app uses flashcards to replicate conversations on a wide range of healthcare topics. Staff can use questions and explanations developed by clinical professionals or can add free text. The content can be flexed to overcome different communication barriers, by converting it to different languages, sign language videos, easy read or read-aloud mode, or using the integrated speech-to-text translation tool.