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Case Study

Christopher McCann

Founder and CEO, snap40

Thu, 30 July 2015

Christopher McCann is a graduate from the University of Strathclyde with a master’s degree in Computing Science. He successfully completed third year of medical school at the University of Dundee before taking a leave of absence to focus full time on snap40. snap40 aim to prevent avoidable patient health deteriorations using pro-active data analytics and continuous health monitoring.

How snap40 Got Started


The idea for snap40 was sparked by observations that Christopher made while on placements for his undergraduate medical degree in intensive care, acute medicine and care of the elderly. He was involved in the care of patients who had deteriorated because the warning signs were not recognised early enough. Christopher decided to use his knowledge in computing science and software engineering, as well as his experience with a previous start-up to found snap40 aim to alert healthcare staff to high-risk patients far in advance of health deterioration. They consume data from a variety of sources, including their own wearable device, and then use machine learning to detect the patterns that pre-empt deterioration.


“I was seeing patients being transferred to us in intensive care, who had deteriorated simply because we had missed the warning signs. I thought, ‘this is mad, let’s do something to solve this,’ so I started snap40.”Christopher McCann


What Happened Next

Christopher began to validate the idea by speaking to as many relevant people as possible, from frontline healthcare staff to senior medical professionals which spurred him onto pursue the idea. He developed some rough prototypes to test the physical wearable concept, and then began working with two key partners, ECE Associates and Filament PD. Together, they started from scratch, identifying the core functionality, design requirements and then building the electronics and physical design. Computer-generated images were constructed to create more sophisticated design concepts which were 3D printed. The company has just made its first manufacturing order.


“We have continued to engage with front-line clinicians and nurses. We have had customers shaping [snap40] from day one and, as a result, we now have partnerships with two major NHS trusts who are supporting our clinical trials and our first product deployment.”Christopher McCann


Christopher won the Young Innovators Challenge in 2014 and was awarded the first prize of £10,000 for the New Ventures Competition at the 2015 SIE Annual Student Enterprise Summit.


“It gave us a helpful kickstart. It’s not just about the money, it’s about the connections and the introductions that people can make and the other help that they offer. It has really given us that kickstart to move forward and has been invaluable to us.”Christopher McCann


snap40 has continued to secure support and credibility from the enterprise community and has been awarded a SMART:Scotland grant of £100,000 as well as EDGE funding of £47,500. The company has also completed a small investment round of £70,000 and is aiming to raise a substantial seed round in the middle of 2016. They were also supported by SIE’s patent fund to file their first UK patent.

Next Steps for snap40

Snap40 is currently based in Edinburgh, and has a team of 6, bringing together significant technical and commercial expertise. They will be running a ‘healthy volunteers study’ to test the current device against gold-standard monitoring equipment. The company is then conducting a clinical equivalence study in August 2016 and is planning to make first sales in December 2016.


“Finding great people should be something you do from the very start, from day one. No successful business is built by one person – in my view the real job of a start-up founder is to bring fantastic people together to achieve their vision.”Christopher McCann