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Case Study: Activ4life Healthcare Technologies

Published: June 2008

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Activ4Life Healthcare Technologies

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Activ4Life and their smart pedometer

The Company

Activ4Life Healthcare Technologies is based at Kroto Innovation Centre, Sheffield.

The company, which was established in February 2007, has devised a 'smart pedometer' to record how active a patient has been.

Active4Life provides detailed records on what a patient has been doing, offers projections for what they need to achieve and reports back to their consultant or GP.

The Challenge

The smart pedometer allows the health industry to determine whether a patient has been active and records the level and type of body movements made each day.

Each user's activity is compared against a researched activity profile. Activ4Life determines this according to the patients' age, sex, normal activity levels, body mass index and whether they have had hip or knee replacement surgery. Feedback reports are then provided to either a consultant or GP, who will advise on recovery progress.

Activ4life needed financial support to help take their innovative product through a significant development, proof of concept and to market.

The Solution

Activ4life gained backing from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF) with both seedcorn funding and an equity investment.

They received an initial £125,000 Seedcorn fund loan from SYIF just nine months after being established. The Seedcorn funding was very useful and enabled Activ4life to stick very close to their business plan from the outset. The company used the funding to develop a series of working prototypes and achieve commitment from customers for sales in excess of £100,000.

Following this, Active4Life received a further equity investment of £125,000 from SYIF in May 2008. The second funding from SYIF alongside an investment from the Yorkshire and Humber Equity Fund, allowed the company to complete product development and undertake clinical trials as well as close initial product sales.

Future Expectations

The system will now be undertaking a six-month clinical trial from September before being released into the healthcare market. The first areas to receive the trial include Harrogate, Edinburgh and Cardiff. If the clinical trials are successful, the system could be soon rolled-out across the country.

Activ4life's main target audience is initially Orthopaedic patients, but the system can be extended into other healthcare services.

The company say there is nothing like their product in the market. Active4Life has received acclaim from within the industry and are confident that the service will be of great benefit to both patients and the health industry.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).