A London startup is aiming to save lives with technology described as ‘an ice bath in a backpack’.

Cryogenx has developed CGX1, a portable body cooling device which offers a rapid response for heat-related illness such as heatstroke.

It has now secured a £150,000 investment from British Design Fund as part of a wider £800,000 raise that includes existing shareholders, angel investors and a US-based fund to bring its patent-pending tech to market.

The device features a powerful coolant stored within compact cylinders that is injected into an adhesive, thermally conductive pad placed on the patient’s torso. This emulates the effects of ice water immersion and offers a first line of treatment for anyone suffering from heat-related illness.

Cryogenx founder Matt Anderson came up with the idea while studying Industrial Design at Brunel University. After watching a documentary that led to a cameraman losing his life due to the effects of heat while filming in a remote location, he began looking into the dangers and effects of extreme heat.

An estimated 489,000 deaths globally are caused by extreme heat every year and it is likely these figures will significantly increase as a result of rising temperatures caused by climate change.


“Across the world, people are suffering and dying from the effects of extreme heat and we’ve seen these figures rise, particularly in the last 5-10 years, where record temperatures have been hit across the world,” said Anderson. 

“The increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, leads to a marked increase in excess mortality and could potentially be the new norm with the growing rate of extreme heat events as a result of global warming.

“With heatstroke, the quicker you can start effectively reducing core body temperature, the more successful the treatment will be. However, in remote locations that can be very challenging.”

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Cryogenx’s device is ideally positioned to support individuals and organisations where incidents of heat-related illness are common or likely, such as where physical labour and exposure to heat and humidity forms part of the job. 

This includes defence, construction, the energy sector, manufacturing industries, the fire service and sports, among many others. 

“We are keen to connect with companies and distributors in this space to enable our technology to be in the hands of people who need it,” added Anderson.

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The funding will support Cryogenx as it looks to initiate and ramp up its commercial activities, including completing its first formal production run. 

The company is also undertaking several preclinical studies, including with Brunel University and a study in the US with a leading academic in exercise and environmental physiology.

Damon Bonser, CEO at the British Design Fund, said: “Cryogenx’s technology solves a growing global need for a rapid, emergency response for heat illness. What is really impressive about the device is how well designed and thought through it is, being easily transported and operated by a single person, with no pre-preparation or specialist storage required. 

“We look forward to working with Matt and the Cryogenx team as they bring this vital technology to market.”

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