Pacto Medical Inc.
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Pacto Medical Inc.

Harvard Innovation Labs

Pacto Medical Inc.

For public health and healthcare workers who use pre-filled syringes, Pacto Medical makes a collapsible syringe that reduces transportation volume by 40%, allowing them to ship and deliver more syringes for less money and with a lower environmental impact.

Ian Speers

About Pacto Medical Inc.


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Climate Circle

Though prefilled syringes provide many benefits, the switch away from using vials to fill empty syringes has caused fewer syringes to fit on shipping pallets than before. Prefilled syringes come fully extended and take up more space, during bulk shipping and personal transport in backpacks and medical bags. To solve this, we’ve invented a collapsible syringe with a 40-percent smaller packaging footprint relative to traditional prefilled syringes. Our design saves shipping costs, reduces environmental impact, and brings the safety and quality benefits of prefilled syringes to more patients around the world.

Climate Circle Q&A With Cofounder Ian Speers (SPH '23)

  • The journey of Pacto Medical began in the remote villages of Grand Bassa County, Liberia. Our cofounder, Ian, a seasoned EMT and medical logistician, was grappling with the inefficiencies of medical supply chains in low-resource settings. The pivotal moment came as he struggled to transport boxes of pre-filled syringes to a rural clinic. Each box, with its limited contents and excessive packaging, highlighted a glaring issue: the inefficiency and environmental impact of medical supplies ill-suited for such challenging conditions. This experience sparked the beginning of Pacto Medical and our innovative compact pre-filled syringe, designed specifically to overcome these hurdles. Read more about Pacto Medical’s origin story.

  • At Pacto Medical, we're not just reinventing the pre-filled syringe; we’re solving inefficiencies in product design and medical logistics to promote equitable access to medical products. Our SlimShot Syringe, with its 40% smaller packaging footprint, is a game changer. Imagine a world where healthcare commodities reach the most remote corners efficiently, where every inch of a shipping pallet is utilized to its fullest, and where environmental impact is minimized. That's our vision.

  • Embarking on this venture has at times felt like navigating uncharted waters in the medical supply industry. One challenge is convincing a market dominated by giants that a small, innovative team can bring about significant change. With every partnership and breakthrough, we faced skepticism and doubts. It was this very underdog status, however, that fueled our agility and creativity, allowing us to break the mold and bring our vision to life.

  • Our journey to climate action has been a natural evolution of our professional paths. While not directly engaged in traditional climate work, our team has always harbored a deep-seated desire to contribute to this crucial global challenge. With Pacto Medical, we found our calling. By intertwining healthcare solutions with environmental stewardship, we're addressing two intertwined global challenges, making a dual impact with every step forward.

  • Winning an Ingenuity Award at the 2023 Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge was beyond our wildest dreams. That evening, Klarman Hall was buzzing with an atmosphere of innovation and excitement. As our name was announced, a wave of disbelief washed over us, followed by a sense of accomplishment and gratitude. That moment marked a significant milestone that we still reflect on when the going gets tough. The reality of our victory only began to set in later that evening, and we found ourselves repeatedly glancing at the award to reassure ourselves that it wasn’t a dream.

  • One of the coolest aspects of our journey has been the global outreach. It has been remarkable to travel around the US and the world talking with, interviewing, and pitching to different stakeholders, both in person and virtually. We spoke to users, purchasers, decision makers, and industry leaders, and we have learned so much from those who have been so generous to contribute their time and knowledge toward achieving our goal. To date, we have worked with, co-designed with, and interviewed stakeholders in 13 countries and counting. We look forward to connecting with additional stakeholders in other countries, settings, and with different experiences to ensure our product is responsive to a diverse set of needs and challenges.

  • No matter what initial challenge you come to the table trying to solve, make sure that you map out and think about the climate implications of both the status quo and your proposed solutions. Climate change needs to be thought about early and often in this way and we cannot afford for it to be an afterthought or tack-on to a venture, innovation, or proposal. While everyone might not share that view or be as passionate as you are about addressing climate change, don’t let that dissuade you from keeping it as a focus of your work.

    Make sure to connect and work with other like-minded people — take advantage of the climate-focused resources and organizations out there and don’t hide in a bubble. For example, connect with GreenProBono, Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment, and the Harvard Climate Entrepreneurs Circle, to name a few.