Activity is best medicine for healthcare firm
Pictured (L-R): David Heaton, Activ4Life Sales and Marketing Director, Ian Revie, Chief Executive Activ4Life and Peter Pridham, Investment Manager SYIF.
A healthcare company is set to launch a brand new technological system to help speed-up patient recovery.
Activ4Life Healthcare Technologies, at Kroto Innovation Centre, Sheffield, has devised a ‘smart pedometer’ to record how active a patient has been.
The company was established in February 2007 and has now gained backing from South Yorkshire Investment Fund with both seedcorn funding and an equity investment.
Activ4Life received an initial £125,000 Seedcorn Fund loan from SYIF just nine months after being established.
It used the funding to develop a series of working prototypes and achieve product orders in excess of £100,000. Following this, Activ4Life received a further equity investment of £125,000 from SYIF in May 2008. Activ4Life 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 system is now undertaking a six-month clinical trial before being released into the healthcare market. The first areas to receive the trial include Harrogate, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Ian Revie, Chief Executive of Activ4Life, said: "The initial seedcorn funding was very useful and gave us a good standing to build from. We had a very clear business plan at the outset and the investment has enabled us to stick very closely to it.
"Activ4Life 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 patient’s 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."
If the clinical trials are successful, the system could be soon rolled out across the country.
Ian added: "Our main target audience are initially orthopaedic patients, but the system will hopefully be extended into other healthcare services.
"There is nothing like this in the healthcare market. It has been well received and we are working directly with a number of surgeons who are very excited about the product."
Peter Pridham, Investment Manager at SYIF, said: "Activ4Life Healthcare Technologies is an example of how useful the Seedcorn Fund can be to early-stage businesses in South Yorkshire.
"From a standing start just over a year ago, they have made fantastic progress and are close to taking their product to market.
"Activ4Life has received acclaim from within the industry and we are confident that the service will be of great benefit to both patients and the health service."
Chris Fitzsimmons, Investment Manager at SYIF who led on the equity investment added. "The equity investment from SYIF alongside an investment from the Yorkshire and Humber Equity Fund will allow the company to complete product development and undertake clinical trials as well as close initial product sales."
For more information about Activ4Life, please visit www.a4lhealth.com
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).