Help me improve the health of 1 billion people

Help me create a health start up that will impact the lives of 1 billion people.

We did it!

On 5th Jun 2014 we successfully raised £2,060 of £2,000 target with 29 supporters in 35 days

My name is Cosima Gretton, I'm a graduate medical student and passionate about healthcare and technology. I have just won a place on Singularity University's Graduate Studies Program at NASA, in Silicon Valley.

Over 10 weeks, I will be working with top international thinkers, professionals and entrepreneurs with the aim of developing a healthcare startup that can positively impact the lives of 1 billion people, using exponential technologies.


Singularity University is not a typical university. Its focus is on using exponential technologies from Silicon Valley to solve humanitarian challenges such as famine, global warming, and disease. “Exponential technologies” are technologies grow at accelerating speeds, such as nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Together with my team, I will be working on creating a sustainable startup focused on solving key issues in global health. I will look at building on today’s healthcare services and technologies in a way that could improve the lives of people across the globe.

One of my good friends from University attended the program in 2010 and is now the founder of Blue Oak, an e-waste recycling company. Blue Oak extracts precious metals and rare earth elements from the thousands of tons of electronic waste that we throw away every year. Shortly after founding the company he won the Harvard Business School Best New Venture Award, and has recently set up his first recycling plant. Other past SU projects have included cheap portable malaria testing kits, drones delivering medicine to isolated villages, and a hamburger grown in a Petri dish.

I am passionate about global access to free, quality healthcare. Technology is developing at an astounding rate, and for me it is essential such innovation used to bring about positive change. Attending Singularity University is a chance to go beyond my potential impact as a doctor, and impact the lives of billions.

 Singularity University


I applied to Singularity University with a project developed with the team at Skin Analytics.The goal is to improve the care of chronic wounds globally, using patented image processing technology.

Forty million people worldwide suffer from chronic wounds. These are wounds that fail to heal and can remain open, infected and weeping for months or years. They can be caused by poor blood flow (venous hypertension), diabetes (neuropathic ulcers) or pressure sores. An estimated 1 in 5 patients in hospitals in the UK have pressure sores. The emotional, physical and economic impact on the person's life has been equated to that experienced with heart or kidney failure, or multiple sclerosis. But little research or investment exists in the area so we have little information about which treatments work and which don't.

The healing of a chronic wound depends heavily on good care. Currently a large proportion of wounds worsen due inconsistent care, and failure to spot infection or non-healing. My project will use image processing technology to create cloud based software that can analyse and detect changes in images of wounds. This will enable better care by identifying the right people for medical interventions at the right time. 

I am passionate about changing healthcare on  global scale to provide more people with better care at a lower cost. While at Singularity University, I will get the chance to develop my business idea and the opportunity to work on the projects of others.


Attending GSP is a one-in-a-life-time opportunity: thousands from around the world apply each year and only 80 get selected. To take part I will have to dedicate the summer to the course, leaving paid work behind, as well as paying the full tuition fees.

I am excited to say that I have already raised £4500 in pledges towards the first half of the fees from individuals and corporate sponsors. This crowdfunding campaign will go towards the second half and help me secure my place on the course this summer. 

Your contributions will go directly towards my tuition. The fee includes the classroom curriculum, speakers and materials, access to SU’s world-class biotech lab, design and prototyping suite, robotics labs, site visits (e.g. to Google Campus), meals, and all on-site accommodation.

I'd love to share the experience with you, if you would like to support my endeavours please choose one of the rewards and I will keep you updated with my progress along the way!

Thank you so much for all your help, 

Cosima Gretton

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