Space tech start-up set to overhaul mobile breast screening in the UK

A picture of DEOS Consultancy's silver airstream scanning van parked up

DEOS Consultancy’s ‘Airstream’ scanning van.
(Credit: DEOS Consultancy)

For the last 25 years, mobile breast screening vans have operated in isolation from hospitals, with hard drives of digital images physically transported from van to hospital by courier, taxi and even radiographers themselves. The target turnaround time between screening and result is 14 days.

Now, pioneering technology start-up DEOS Consultancy is about to shake up mobile breast screening in the UK.

At the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre in Oxfordshire (ESA BIC Harwell), which is managed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), DEOS Consultancy have been using satellite technology to develop their prototype for a completely integrated screening solution for smarter, faster and more cost-efficient mobile breast screening service.

DEOS can transmit images directly from van to hospital in three minutes and synchronise with hospitals, giving real-time visibility of patient status.

Viv Barrett, CEO at DEOS Consultancy said: “By applying satellite connectivity to mobile medical units we have the real potential to radically overhaul mobile breast screening service in the UK. We can achieve faster communication of results, along with more efficient staff deployment and logistical savings. Our focus has been on developing the prototype for our technology that could be implemented into all mobile breast screening vans. Being at the ESA BIC Harwell put us in the perfect position to access the specialist technology and expertise we needed to complete our prototype and network with the right audiences and markets. This has been a critical phase in the development of our business.”

DEOS graduation

From left: DEOS Consultancy’s David Osmond (co-founder) and Viv Barrett (Co-founder and CEO), with STFC’s Sue O’Hare (Operations Manager at the ESA BIC Harwell), and STFC’s Anne Green.
(Credit: STFC)

DEOS Consultancy has just become the 50th start-up company to ‘graduate’ from the ESA BIC Harwell since it opened in 2011. To date, 61 companies have joined the centre, all of which are using space and satellite technology to develop innovative new products and services.

Sue O’Hare, Operations Manager at the ESA BIC Harwell said: “Turning a brilliant idea into a viable commercial offering is a huge challenge and the ESA BIC Harwell provides the right environment and support to do this. DEOS Consultancy is a fantastic example of how space and satellite technology can be applied to develop a service that could be life-changing for so many, and I’m thrilled to be celebrating our 50 alumni milestone with them.”

Located within the well-established space cluster at the Harwell Campus, the ESA BIC Harwell sits alongside STFC’s RAL Space, the Satellite Applications Catapult and the brand new National Satellite Test Facility. It is also one of a wider European network of 16 successful ESA BICs, and part of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme. It provides 10 companies a year with an impressive, carefully designed support package lasting between one and two years that enables them to harness space-related intellectual property, technologies and expertise through the provision of £41,500 grant funding, access to STFC’s world-class research facilities and skills, and dedicated business support.

Get involved with the ESA BIC Harwell

Further information and advice about getting involved with the ESA BIC Harwell, and how it could benefit your company, can be found at the ESA BIC Harwell website. Calls for proposals to join the ESA BIC Harwell take place throughout the year, the next deadline for applications closing on 27 October 2017.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000