Tarek Marrouche came to the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business with an innovative solution for a common medical problem — middle ear infections in children.
While a master’s student studying biomedical engineering at the U, Marrouche learned that middle ear infections are one of the most prevalent conditions among children, second only to the common cold. However, the device used to diagnose these infections is flawed — pediatricians misdiagnose the condition about 50 percent of the time. This misdiagnosis is the number one reason for overprescription of antibiotics in children. With a team of other master’s students, Marrouche developed the Mapping Otoscope, which uses quantitative measurement of tympanic membrane compliance during examinations. Cut the jargon and the bottom line is this — the Mapping Otoscope provides a more accurate diagnosis of middle ear infections than the current equipment. Marrouche’s innovative technology won the grand prize at Bench to Bedside, a student medical innovation competition, in 2019. With his company Heimdall Health, Marrouche hopes to bring his engineering expertise from the lab to doctors’ offices across the country.
While his scientific training led to innovative ideas, Marrouche wanted more education to grow Heimdall Health. “Nothing is actually feasible until you have a plan of execution, which revolves around business knowledge,” he said. Marrouche enrolled in the Master of Business Creation program to learn more about executing a business plan and translating his ideas to a commercial setting. “The Master of Business Creation is a combination between entrepreneurship and business school,” he said. “It is the perfect combination between academic and application-focused learning, and it acts as an accelerator for new startups.”
Marrouche said that there are two important sides to this new program. The first side is the schoolwork, with valuable faculty mentors and application-focused coursework. The other is the cohort itself, with a group of passionate students all on similar journeys with their startups. “Building relationships with peers in this program is another very important side,” he said. “It’s very collaborative. You always have people to help you.” Plus, the program is fully scholarshipped, allowing founders to devote more resources to their companies.
After taking advantage of the resources and mentorships in the MBC program, Marrouche hopes to finish verification testing, gain FDA approval and begin manufacturing. He also plans to expand his business with new devices. “We already have more ideas to innovate more products,” he said. “We do think this can be a competitive market to add to the landscape.”
Learn more about Heimdall Health at heimdallhealth.com.