July 1, 2020

Interview with the Royal Academy of Engineering

Spotlight Series with the Royal Academy of Engineering's Enterprise Hub: Excerpts from an interview with our CEO and founder Katerina...
Words by
July 1, 2020

The Enterprise Hub at the Royal Academy of Engineering spoke to our founder and CEO Katerina in July 2020 about her experience of establishing Oxford Heartbeat. Here is an excerpt from the interview.


What are the best things about working at Oxford Heartbeat?

I feel very fortunate to be working on something groundbreaking and meaningful. My colleagues are smart, inquisitive and friendly – we inspire one another through our everyday interactions, creating an invaluable sense of positive energy as the company grows. Lastly, it is invigorating to be working on a product that will help shape the future of healthcare.


What‘s the hardest thing about working at Oxford Heartbeat?

Like any other startup, we’re rowing ahead into an unpredictable future, which means we have to be prepared for any surprises that come our way. The industry we operate in also requires us to work and innovate at high speed, with immense pressure to deliver effective outcomes promptly. In addition, creating new markets can be a lengthy and arduous process, especially since nothing like our product has existed before.


What’s the biggest thing your company has achieved so far?

We are thrilled to have been awarded a CE mark for PreSize® Neurovascular, which means that it can be used at hospitals across the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as the UK. The certification takes us one step closer to our goal of making thousands of brain surgeries radically safer.


What does the future hold?

We plan to launch a pilot of PreSize® at several hospitals in the UK and Germany by the end of the year. This will allow us to gather enough data about how brain surgery patients benefit from surgical efficacy brought about by PreSize® over an extended period of time. Using this data, we will continue developing PreSize® to the highest possible standard, because we believe that it can make digital medicine a more equitable reality for healthcare providers and patients alike. In addition, we want to use the PreSize® brand to keep exploring and creating solutions that address the complexities of other high-risk surgical procedures.

Who is your role model?

Catherine Mohr from Intuitive Surgical

What is your secret talent?


What’s your guilty pleasure?

French fries

 I don’t understand why…

Humanity doesn’t learn from its past mistakes

When I’m not working at Oxford Heartbeat, I am…

Spending time with friends and family

What makes you happiest in business?

Getting feedback on how much our technology is needed

Do you have any business regrets?

That I didn’t start earlier

If I could have a superpower, it would be…

To live much longer (with health on my side) to do all the things I want to do

If you could switch places with any famous entrepreneur, who would it be?

Probably Elon Musk because his businesses are so multifaceted

The tech that I could not live without is…

My laptop with internet access

Ever told a white lie to get what you wanted in business?

Who hasn’t?

Which fellow Hub Member are you most impressed by?

Dr Enass Abo-Hamed. She is an extremely strong and admirable entrepreneur, and I wish her all the success in making her vision at H2GO Power a reality.

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

Probably FemTech

And finally, if you could invent a new piece of tech, what would it be and what problem would it solve?

Exchangeable battery for humans to substitute sleep.

A full-length version of this interview initially appeared on 1 July on the Royal Academy of Engineering site.

Note to editors