Plaque unveiled at Latymer School to honour former pupil
An Edmonton entrepreneur was hailed as a role model for young people as a plaque in her honour was unveiled at her former school.
Award-winning innovator Alex Halsehurst is the co-founder of research and development company Vitrue Health, which specialises in blood diagnostics and is creating a tool that helps doctors assess patient health more efficiently.
With a masters degree in mechanical engineering from Cambridge University, Alex has worked on the development of several high-tech products, including magnet design for MRI scanners and ultra-high precision machining tools, as well as leading device research at Vitrue Health.
Alex, who says her aim is to help people enjoy at least five extra healthy years of life by 2035, was honoured in the ‘Women in Innovation Awards’ run by Innovate UK, a public body promoting British innovation. The awards, announced on International Women’s Day last month, follow a search for female innovators who are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing society.
Alex was one of eight winners receiving £50,000 each to boost their work. In a celebration at Latymer School where she was a pupil, Alex also unveiled a ‘purple plaque’ and hosted an assembly to talk about innovation and challenge perceptions of what and who an entrepreneur can be.
Alex said: “I’m working to develop a medical device that could improve the quality of life for millions of people living with musculoskeletal issues. Getting a start-up like that off the ground is a huge challenge and the Innovate UK award, both the cash and support that comes with it, is a massive help.
“There’s also a bigger goal of encouraging more women into STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics]. This award is letting me build my company with that as a core value.
“Recently I was contacted by someone who said this kind of thing was inspiring to his granddaughter, which is an amazing thing to be part of.”