PCH and Johnson & Johnson to accelerate consumer health hardware start-ups

28 Aug 2015

Pictured: PCH founder and CEO Liam Casey

Liam Casey’s PCH has joined forces with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to jointly develop and accelerate the next wave of consumer health hardware start-ups.

Based in the San Francisco Bay area, where PCH runs its PCH Access and Highway1 accelerator, the programme will help start-ups move seamlessly from advanced prototype to mass manufacture.

The programme will be overseen by PCH Access and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Companies that are selected will be given office space, funding, product design, marketing and assistance navigating the regulatory and clinical channels.

“We are seeing an amazing variety of innovative product ideas coming from start-ups focused on improving personal health and well-being through technology,” Casey said.

“With this unique partnership, we will be encouraging even more innovation in the healthcare market, and helping more great products get made.”

PCH’s supply chain genius

PCH International has revenues of more than US$1bn a year and masterminds the design, manufacture and distribution of hardware, from the initial online order to the delivery at the customer’s door, anywhere in the world. The company employs 2,800 people worldwide, including 80 people in Cork, where PCH International is headquartered.

In recent years Casey has been a key player in the emerging hardware start-up space, acquiring a design studio called Lime Labs in San Francisco, and establishing his own Highway1 incubator programme.

In March, PCH confirmed its acquisition of Fab.com for an undisclosed amount of cash and equity and plans to use Fab.com as a sales channel for hardware created by start-ups.

“Hardware and healthcare are converging as consumers increasingly interact with health-related devices,” said David Austin, vice president of PCH Access.

“We will help take hardware health companies to market with a one-stop programme to assist with product design, manufacturing and distribution, while navigating the complex regulatory framework surrounding healthcare.”

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