Galway medtech firm FeelTect receives €50,000 funding award

19 Aug 2019

A medical professional using the Tight Alright device. Image: FeelTect

FeelTect will use the funding to continue developing its Tight Alright device, which is used to treat venous leg ulcers.

This morning (19 August), FeelTect, a connected-health start-up established by the NUI Galway laboratory of Cúram investigator Prof Garry Duffy, announced that it has won a €50,000 funding award.

The EIT Health Headstart award was presented to the team after it reached the final of the programme’s competition, along with 21 other finalists of medtech start-ups from the UK and Ireland. The competition’s judging panel included investors, healthcare professionals and medtech experts.

FeelTect’s award-winning device, called Tight Alright, is used to treat venous leg ulcers.

The wireless, pressure-sensing device measures and monitors sub-bandage pressure during compression therapy, primarily for the millions of people worldwide who experience venous leg ulcers (VLUs).

Venous leg ulcers

VLUs are chronic wounds that stem from venous insufficiency, a medical condition affecting the circulation of blood to the lower limbs. It occurs when the valves that force blood towards the heart no longer function, causing blood to pool in the legs as a result.

The condition is associated with a variety of risk factors including age, increased BMI, low physical activity, high blood pressure, venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis and family history.

Compression therapy is the gold-standard treatment for venous leg ulcers, helping to restore blood flow. However, it is ineffective if applied too loosely and dangerous if applied too tightly.

FeelTect noted that studies have shown even experienced clinicians can find it difficult to achieve a targeted pressure with existing compression products.

Compression therapy

With Tight Alright, FeelTect aims to enable improvements in the application and maintenance of compression therapy, ensuring safety while reducing healing times.

The start-up’s founder and CEO, Dr Andrew Cameron, said: “The funding provided by EIT Health will allow us to progress the miniaturisation of Tight Alright to a truly wearable product, making it the first device capable of continuously monitoring compression therapy outside the clinical setting.

“We’ll also be able to further our initial clinical validation, which was supported by Health Innovation Hub Ireland, demonstrating the ability of Tight Alright to improve the achievement of targeted, evidence-based pressure during compression application.”

Duffy, the start-up’s co-founder, added: “It’s very exciting to see the first commercial product from our labs at NUI Galway move closer to the clinic.

“Through Enterprise Ireland’s initial support and now with EIT Health Headstart funding, we plan to continue the clinical validation of the Tight Alright technology and move it close to positive outcomes for patients with venous leg ulcers.”

The FeelTect team is currently in discussions with potential partners and has launched a seed round for fundraising to support the progression of Tight Alright into clinical practice.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic