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59: Neutrocheck, an at-home test for neutropenic sepsis with Umaima Ahmad from 52North

Umaima Ahmad - Neutrocheck
On this episode, Vinay is joined by co-founder Umaima Ahmad, to discuss their startup 52North and their ambitious tech that powers a life-saving product. Neutrocheck is device for those undergoing chemotherapy and who are at risk of neutropenic sepsis. With a background in financial law, Umaima and her team of co-founders were inspired to solve a problem that is a serious side-effect for those needing crucial treatment for cancer. Hear all about their journey to creating the product and how it all took off after a small grant of only ten thousand pounds.


  • How Umaima’s mid-career Masters led to the development of 52North
  • How her background as a financial lawyer gave her the transferable skills to become an entrepreneur
  • How a Cambridge University mentorship programme offered them their first investment
  • How they developed a product to diagnose neutropenic sepsis, a common side effect of chemotherapy without unnecessary A&E visits
  • How Neutrocheck, their product and app, can save time, money, and lives in cancer care
  • How using COVID-19 lateral flow kits as a stimulus helped them brainstorm a solution for diagnosing Neutropenic Sepsis
  • How branching out into digital and AI is being tempered by targets for accessibility and health equity
  • How patient feedback and input from medical professionals has been essential in building the solution
  • How they became the first product to be fully endorsed by the MacMillan Cancer Trust in 100 years
  • How Neutrocheck could reduce costs to the NHS by around £70 million
  • How they are beginning to explore new avenues for detecting disease using their portable low-cost device

Guest: Umaima Ahmad

Host: Dr Vinay Shankar
Podcast: 15 Minutes With The Doctor

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