Boole start-up of the week: Locatible

8 Jun 2015

Pictured: John Norris, Rónán O'Cóigligh and Peter Kortvel from Locatible

Locatible has created a patent-pending cloud platform that can locate any asset or person indoors to an accuracy of sub one metre and could potentially save hospitals millions of dollars every year.

“From this we solve real problems for medical staff and nurses,” explained Rónán O’Cóigligh, CEO of Locatible. “We can save hospitals anything from half a million per annum to several million, and also highly enhance safety and patient experience in the medical sector.”

He said that lost or stolen assets cost, on average, US$4,000 to $US5,000, per bed per year, this equals US$1.6 million annually for a 400-bed hospital.

“We can bring that figure down drastically. The nursing shortage is also currently a big problem in Ireland. However, a nurse spends on average 72 minutes searching for equipment during each shift, sometimes longer.

“We can reduce waiting times, room turnover times, increase patient flow. We provide immediate infection control, reduced asset loss/theft and maintenance costs, stop staff hoarding of equipment and lead to increased utilisation of assets.

“We can provide management with more than 30 KPIs — in real time and historic. We can transfer real-time data from medical devices to our screens and the staff’s hand-held [devices], and also to the manufacturer on the performance of the machine.

“We also provide indoor navigation – you would be amazed the amount of people who are late for their appointments due to getting lost en route, this will guide them through their phone with turn-by-turn directions straight to their destination, it is also voice enabled for the visually impaired and the blind,” O’Cóigligh said.

The market

Locatible is targeting the medical real-time location system (RTLS) private sector in Asia-Pacific and the Americas regions.

“This sector is about to grow at a rate of just under 39pc CAGR until 2020,” O’Cóigligh added.

The founders

O’Cóigligh has had two previous businesses, both exited.

“Peter Kortvel is our CMO and has relocated to Ireland to work with us. His background is in marketing and he has vast experience within the medical field.

“Jon Norris is our lead developer, he holds a Master’s degree in computer science.”

The technology

Locatible has developed a cloud-based medical RTLS Platform using its own BLE with its own algorithms to use source fusion, which measures the magnetic pulse of the earth.

“From this and our advancements in this technology we are able to locate anything or anyone indoors or underground to sub one metre in accuracy. Also our technology does not interfere with medical equipment, unlike RFID (radio-frequency identification).

“We don’t use RFID technology to track people and assets. Our solution is real-time. Our patent-pending hardware is waterproof, tamper proof and can withstand high temperatures.

“This, along with our advancements with source fusion and our algorithms, make Locatible the most advanced and accurate Medical RTLS platform on the market today.”

Waking up the medical industry

O’Cóigligh says Locatible is aiming to be the market leader in the medical RTLS industry throughout Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

“We aim to keep being the innovation leader in the RTLS healthcare market, bringing many more innovations and ‘wake up’ the industry.

“We have a spreadsheet with presently 48 features we will add to the minimum viable product (MVP), some of these features nobody else is even thinking about, yet they are needed. We need to be consistently thinking ahead, talking to those who use the product and advancing it in the correct way for the user. We are always thinking how can we make it better, what else is needed. We solve real problems and it is talking to those people who have the problems that helps us shape the product for market.

“Locatible Healthcare RTLS platform will achieve lower waiting times in hospitals — we believe 10 minutes is very achievable — and faster room turnover times, increase patient flow and reduce spend on assets and maintenance drastically.

“Each bed costs between US$4,000 and $US5,000 per annum in lost or stolen revenue, for a 400-bed hospital that is a US$1.6 million problem. We can bring that figure drastically down.

“Assets have utilisation of under 45pc, so more than half the time they are just sitting there unused, yet staff cannot find what they need when they need it.

“Most hospitals cannot even tell you exactly what or how much equipment they have, when calibration is needed and so forth.

“Staff spend on average 72 minutes per shift searching for equipment, and equipment hording is a big issue. The lost man hours is a major problem, the platform will tell staff immediately where the specific piece of equipment is that they are looking for, enabling them to actually carry out their job and what they want to do, not spend a good deal of their shift searching for equipment.”

He also says the technology can be used to keep track of patients. “Patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia, and patients in general, we can locate them on any floor to within three feet in real time. Currently, there is a system in hospitals so when the patient goes near the door it locks, however, even though a patient may be suffering from Alzheimer’s, they remember this and will wait for the door to open, once they are out there is no way of knowing where they are in real time and accurately — those days are gone with our platform.

“Should the patient fall, an alert is displayed on the screens showing ‘who, when and where’, so they can get immediate assistance. Infection control that is real time will tell you what was in any room at any time and where it went, tracing infection control in less than a second.

“This is a large area for us, giving that ability to the hospitals to be able to trace anything to source immediately. The days of manual spreadsheets are gone — saving not only man hours but also making the hospital a safer environment. We can give staff the tools to instantly know where a patient is, how many labs have been ordered, how many have come back, has the doctor seen the patient etc… — by looking at one screen they can see all this data and more in under a second, in real time.

“Management receive real-time data on areas of the medical facility helping achieve milestones. Medical devices send current data to the platform on a patient’s stats, which can be viewed on the handheld or static screen.

“These are real problems that are problems no more. This technology improves the overall efficiency, situational awareness, patient safety and work environment for providers,” O’Cóigligh said.


Because Locatible is the only player not to use RFID this is potentially very disruptive for the hospital sector.

The company is currently in advanced talks with a global multinational that wants to roll the platform out in the US market, targeting a base of at least 1,500 hospitals.

An American university has also made a play for Locatible to base its US office on its campus, offering very attractive incentives to do so.

“You have a choice, you can grow organically, or you can scale fast. To grow organically is good for some companies, for us we are scaling fast, and are going global. For this we will be looking for investment, but the right type of investor, someone who knows the space.

“The main challenge was to achieve our accuracy in location consistently, we made mistakes to get there like everyone does. Building a company on bootstrap is also a challenge. Keeping the team motivated is not hard as we all know how disruptive a product we have here.

“The healthcare market is about building relationships and we are in advanced discussions with some leading and influential people and companies from the market who understand how different and disruptive we are.”

The start-up scene is gathering pace

O’Cóigligh says the Irish start-up scene is gathering pace. “There is a good movement here and it is only going one way. It is hard to believe Ireland is low on the scale, but there is a solid movement here to get Ireland right up there by 2020, I have no doubt we will get there.

“There is always something on in the city and there is a lot of support for those who have a widget with wings, so to speak.

“Enterprise Ireland and New Frontiers in our book helped us shape the product into what it is today.

“What seriously needs to be looked at is the tax system here for start-ups, if you compare Ireland to other countries, there is a much better offering elsewhere for start-ups. Those countries are reaching out to get the best companies to move to them. Without question Ireland must address this to keep the disruptive companies and attract new ones.”

His advice to other start-ups is get used to long nights and virtually no sleep in order to be a global success.

“Talk to people. Ireland is a great country to get access to those who would use your product and who will give valuable advice. Don’t wear blinkers, be open to move your product into a better market should the need arise. Aim high and keep going.”


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years