Kinesis Health wins inaugural UCD VentureLaunch Award

21 Nov 2013

Dr Barry Greene and Seamus Small, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, co-founders of Kinesis Health Technologies, at the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science

A new health tech start-up called Kinesis Health Technologies has won the inaugural UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Award and a €25,000 prize.

The company competed against six others to emerge from University College Dublin (UCD) and The National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

Kinesis Health Technologies has developed QTUG (Quantitative Timed Up and Go), a novel, patent-protected falls risk and mobility assessment technology which can be used by a range of healthcare professionals to facilitate objective assessments of falls risk in older adults.

Kinesis is a spin-out company which has emerged from internationally peer-reviewed research carried out over the last six years in the TRIL (Technology Research for Independent Living) Centre at UCD. Partners in TRIL, in addition to UCD, include Intel, GE Healthcare, and Trinity College Dublin.

By using QTUG, healthcare professionals can potentially improve healthcare utilisation, reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of life of those at risk.

QTUG, based on the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, provides an objective assessment by the quantitative analysis of gait and mobility data collected using body-worn inertial sensors.

Ready to launch

Kinesis Health Technologies plans to launch QTUG into the European (Ireland and the UK) and Northern American (USA and Canada) markets in mid-2014 and plans to employ 15 people by the end 2016.

Falls are a costly and common problem, with one in three people over the age of 65 falling once per year. This figure rises to one in two in the over-80 age category. The direct and indirect societal costs of falls are significant, and in the US the annual cost of falls management is estimated to be US$30bn. In addition 40pc of all injury deaths in older people are the result of a fall.

Kinesis’ technology will enable healthcare professionals to improve the accuracy of falls risks and mobility assessments in older adults. Improved identification of those at risk of falling will enable targeted intervention and care services tailored towards those who are actually at risk of falling.

“Innovation is the third pillar of UCD’s core mission and two of UCD’s key innovation themes are putting knowledge to work and growing and supporting new business,” Prof Peter Clinch, UCD vice-president for Innovation explained.

“Through the new UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, held over the last three months at NovaUCD, we are supporting researchers to accelerate this process by establishing new ventures which will translate innovative research ideas into companies providing value-added products, services and jobs.”

He added, “Kinesis Health Technologies is an excellent example of a UCD spin-out company, which has been established to address a major worldwide problem, in this case in the health industry, and which has significant global potential and global customers. I congratulate the members of the Kinesis team for winning the 2013 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Award and wish them every commercial success for the future.”

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