Marc Koska OBE
Inventor of the K1 syringe
Marc’s invention of the K1 Auto-Disable syringe quite simply saves lives – he created a syringe that cannot be re-used (it locks and breaks after one use) preventing the spread of blood borne infection. This innovation can be credited as helping to save over 14 million lives around the world – an amazing statistic by anyone’s standards. What you hear when listening to Marc speak, is his passion and commitment not only to this innovative product (which took a turbulent 17 years to bring to market) but to an on-going awareness campaign that seeks to educate worldwide, patients and healthcare providers on the dangers associated with the re-use of syringes and safe injections.
Marc is a highly motivational and charismatic speaker, someone who has fought ignorance, bureaucracy and vested interest every step of the way to create a highly successful and dynamic company, and whose sole motivation is to save lives by eradicating the spread of a killer virus. Marc’s genuine lack of financial motivation is inspirational, moving and an admirably unique quality rarely seen in a thriving entrepreneur.
One child dies every 24 seconds as a result of unsafe injections. The World Health Organisation estimate 3,500 die each day as a result of unsafe injections, which is the equivalent of 10 jumbo jets crashing each day! Syringes intended to be used once are reused in developing world healthcare systems on average seven times, passing on blood borne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis from one patient to another.
Today hundreds of millions of his syringes are sold annually and the invention has saved more than 14 million lives and prevented 10 million cases of disease transmission. All injections given with a K1 syringe, Marc’s revolutionary invention, are sterile and safe. They protect the patient, and the next patient, and their families, because the K1 syringe cannot be reused – it locks and breaks after one use. The design of his ground-breaking syringe took three minutes. The implementation of his plan took 17 difficult and disheartening years of sacrifice, rejection, disappointment and finally a rewarding and revolutionary triumph. Marc Koska can tell his inspiring story and how he founded Star Syringe and the charity SafePoint Trust.
His campaign in India reached a staggering 508 million people in just one week – a world record, raising awareness and educating the whole nation through TV ads, radio broadcasts, cinema screenings and newspaper articles – delivering a ground-breaking campaign to ensure that all medical injections are given safely. He achieved an historic breakthrough, resulting in plans for all injections to be made with auto disable syringes and thereby saving literally millions of lives in the coming years.
Nearly 2 decades after inventing the iconic K-1 syringe, the world’s first ‘auto-disable’ syringe for curative market use, Marc has worked with the World Health Organisation and instigated their only third ever global health initiative – a mandate on needle safety, which will end the blight of 1.3 million deaths a year due to dirty needles and hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on avoidable illness and cross-infections. By 2017 all health systems in the world will have to switch entirely to auto-disable syringes.
Marc has been awarded the Innovation Health Award by The Tech Awards – an international awards programme that honours innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity, as well as The Economist Innovation Award for Social and Economic Innovation – making him one of the best health innovators in the world today. In 2015 he was selected as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awardee – joining a global network and being fully integrated into the World Economic Forum.
Marc has addressed audiences around the world with his keynote speeches and motivational talks; he has spoken at TED conferences worldwide, and at Google Zeitgeist, The Daily Beast Innovators Conference, Intelligence Squared, The Ink Conference, Peace One Day and The Global Health and Innovation Conference. Films about his work have been shown in many countries, as well as at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Peace One Day. He even featured on the film that accompanied The Jubilee Song in 2012.
“Marc came to Halifax, Nova Scotia to be keynote speaker at our life science industry conference. While the business people in the audience appreciated hearing about how he brought his syringe to market, it was his presentation on the horrendous impacts of reusing needles and what SafePoint is doing to change the situation that brought everyone to tears and to their feet. His is a critical mission – to save lives. His passion, compassion and dedication are nothing short of remarkable and many of those who were in audience that day have shared that they were honoured to have been in the same room as Marc Koska. Truly, one of the most inspirational presenters I’ve had the privilege to hear.”
“A fascinating evening & truly inspiring – full of admiration for what you are doing and have achieved – total admiration for your continued vision on tackling what is clearly a huge worldwide problem.”
Entrepreneurs’ Forum (N E England)
“Marc speaks with passion and clarity on a subject that is complex yet alarming. His 20 year mission is conveyed through his fascinating collection of anecdotes. He is an outstanding entrepreneur and a true inspiration.”
Medical Futures Ltd