Auckland medical device company Veriphi is looking to raise up to $2 million through crowdfunding platform Snowball Effect to commercialise a product aimed at preventing medication errors in hospitals - a cause of patient harm that costs health systems billions.

The company, led by founder and managing director Greg Shanahan, has developed a laser analyser which scans intravenous lines, intravenous bags and syringes to determine if the drug and the dosage is correct. Shanahan said the $2 million for a 20 per cent share of the company would fund validation trials at Auckland Hospital in September, achieve first revenue and secure a deal with a global partner.

"We've built the company to the verge of commercial validation," he said. "Now we need new investors and capital to help us complete clinical trials ... achieve commercial readiness and engage a partner to help us scale globally."

He said medication error was the most common cause of patient harm in hospitals, with an estimated 120 deaths each year in New Zealand and up to $400 million in associated costs. The company has spent more than six years and $6 million developing the device, which recently achieved a 100 per cent success rate in randomised blind testing.


"Over 120 New Zealanders and 7000 Americans die every year as a direct result of medication errors, and many thousands more are injured," Shanahan said. "Unfortunately, this is mostly due to human error, and this is what we are trying to eliminate with our technology [which] has the potential to save lives and prevent injuries anywhere intravenous drugs are prepared or administered in hospitals around the world - it's incredibly exciting."

The offer closes on May 18.