Tuesday 19 September 2017

Ex-hotelier Staunton backs health tech firm with €500k investment

The idea for the health smart card came when Kidd, a former firefighter and Siptu official, was returning to Ireland from Brazil and one of the passengers on board the plane suffered a stroke (Stock photo)
The idea for the health smart card came when Kidd, a former firefighter and Siptu official, was returning to Ireland from Brazil and one of the passengers on board the plane suffered a stroke (Stock photo)

Simon Rowe

A businessman who received €12m from the sale of his boutique Dublin townhouse hotel Stauntons on the Green last year, has stumped up about €500,000 to fund the development of an innovative new health smart card that aims to revolutionise patient care.

Jim Staunton's start-up firm Medipro Life has developed a smart card that works with a phone app to allow emergency service personnel and hospital staff instant access to vital medical information that ensures faster and more accurate medical treatment.

The smart card can identify each person that has used a health or social care service in Ireland. It will initially record a patient's name, date of birth, address, gender, blood type, allergies, and nationality and can be used in both public and private healthcare settings.

Using near field communication (NFC) - the same technology that makes tap-and-go services like Apple Pay, Google Wallet work - the card enables wireless data transfer without the need for an internet connection.

Partnering with software experts Sonitek, who provide the platform and phone app, company CEO John Kidd said the firm has pitched its technology to the HSE and has briefed government ministers on the jobs potential of the firm's technology.

The idea for the health smart card came when Kidd, a former firefighter and Siptu official, was returning to Ireland from Brazil and one of the passengers on board the plane suffered a stroke. The medication given to the passenger sparked a near-fatal allergic reaction.

"Our card will enable the safe sharing of patient information which will be shared seamlessly across different health care organizations," said Kidd. "It will facilitate integrated care and a reduction in medical errors and help protect patient privacy. It allows an instant access to vital medical information to the emergency service personnel and ensures that the best and fastest medical treatment is provided. It can help save many lives each year, reduce time spent in hospitals, free up hospital beds and reduce government costs."

"Government healthcare reports have established that approximately €1.3bn is wasted on misdiagnosis and that no integrated system for sharing medical information among the public and private medical institutions and professionals exists," said Kidd. "With the Irish government under pressure to make budget cuts in healthcare, our smart card will save lives and save money."

An American investor snapped up Stauntons on the Green - a four-star, 51-bedroom facility comprised of three interlinking period houses on the south side of St Stephen's Green - when it was put on the market last year for €12m.

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