Spotlight Series: Interview with Peter Mountney, CEO of Odin Vision

02 Nov 2020

Peter Mountney - Spotlight

Who are you?

My name is Peter Mountney and I am the CEO of Odin Vision. Odin Vision is using artificial intelligence to improve the detection and diagnosis of diseases in endoscopic procedures. 

What inspired Odin Vision?

Odin Vision is a spin out from the Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS). UCL has pioneered research in endoscopic computer vision and machine learning for the past 20 years. A team led by Professor Danail Stoyanov (a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies) had developed an award-winning system for detecting polyps in endoscopy videos and the clinical team were very excited about the potential. I’m passionate about technology that can improve people’s lives and I saw a huge opportunity to bring this promising technology into the hospital to benefit patients. We released CADDIE, our first CE marked product, earlier this year and it is very exciting to see it being used in hospitals on a regular basis.

Sell it to us – how does it work?

During an endoscopy procedure the doctor uses a small camera to inspect tissue inside the body. They are looking for abnormal tissue, but it is incredibly difficult to spot, especially when diseases are in the early stages and doctors miss around 25% of abnormalities. CADDIE, Odin Vision’s AI powered product, analyses the endoscopic camera images in real-time during the procedure and helps to find and characterise abnormal tissue. Better early detection of diseases like colorectal cancer lead to better patient outcomes, less life changing surgery and more cost-effective treatments.

What makes working at Odin Vision so worthwhile? 

 It’s really exciting to see ideas and technology come to life and see them being used in hospitals to help patients.

Conversely, what is the most challenging thing about working at Odin Vision and how have you managed to overcome this?

In healthcare, there are two critical challenges that technology and products often fail to address: scalability and adoptability. Our CADDIE system uses bespoke technology to stream video data to the cloud, analyse it and immediately send results back to the hospital. Using the cloud makes it highly scalable and future proof. Additionally, it means we can tailor our service to small or large hospitals, so it is easy for them to adopt. 

Congratulations on winning a recent AI in Health and Care Award grant from NHSX, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC). What does this mean for Odin Vision? 

We are extremely grateful to receive this highly competitive award from the UK government. It means that our CADDIE system can be installed into a range of hospitals across the UK. It will support the collection of high quality clinical and healthcare economics evidence that will demonstrate the patient and cost saving benefits of our technology.

What’s the top piece of advice you would give to a budding engineering entrepreneur?

Just go for it, reach out and speak to as many people as possible.

What impact has the SME Leaders Programme had on your business? What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt?  

Many critical decisions in business are made with partial or incomplete information. The support from the Enterprise Hub helped me refine and improve my decision-making processes and in turn, I have been able to support my team to improve their skills.

What advice would you give to potential applicants to the Enterprise Hub?

Try to think about where your business is going to be in a year and what are the skills you will need to move your business into its next phase.

And finally, if you received an infinite sum of cash, what’s the first thing you would do for your business?

Get our products into every hospital in the world!

Quick fire questions

Who is your role model? Stephen Hawking

What is your secret talent? One of my first jobs was working in an Italian restaurant so I can make a pretty good pizza, not that it’s much of a talent!

What’s your guilty pleasure?  Overpriced coffee

I don’t understand… people who still use faxes

When I’m not working at Odin Vision, I am… sleeping

What makes you happiest in business? Seeing our technology in action, improving patients’ lives.

Do you have any business regrets? Not starting sooner

If I could have a superpower, it would be… teleportation

If you could switch places with any famous entrepreneur, who would it be? Elon Musk, but only for a day.

The tech that I could not live without is… my Ember Mug, I can’t live without a cup of tea

Ever told a white lie to get what you wanted in business? Does lying to yourself count?

Which fellow Hub Member are you most impressed by? Dr Gil Travish, he is an incredibly knowledgeable person and always happy to help.

If you had to choose another sector to work in, what would it be? Sport

And finally, if you could invent a new piece of tech, what would it be and what problem would it solve? Any tech that would make me better at playing football.

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