Tarbert brothers expand high-tech practice into UK

Dónal Nolan

Two Tarbert brothers are harnessing the full power of the very latest in medical technology to improve clients' lives and expand their business dramatically in the process.

FCE Scan Ltd, owned by Tarbert men Eoin and Conor Flynn, opened in Arthur's Quay in Limerick last year and has already established a second Irish base - in the heart of Dublin - and secured a Liverpool base, to open in June in the rapid expansion of a new force in the Irish physiotherapy and osteopathy sectors.

Such are the waves being generated by the innovative Kerry men that the firm has been selected as a preferred provider by the VHI; and it has also just been shortlisted for the prestigious Energia Family Business Awards 2019 to be announced at the end of the month in the Mansion House.

The pair came to the business with a quarter century of combined expertise as osteopaths; having identified the FCE scanning technology as one of massive promise.

Theirs is currently the only Irish iteration of a technology currently being used with purported great results by the likes of AC Milan and Manchester City. 

"The big difference with this system is that it is able to deliver an objective analysis of the way people move in micro-seconds, rather than the subjective opinion of an individual physio or osteopath," elder brother Eoin told The Kerryman.

The technology might be complex, but the concept could not be more straightforward. 

"FCE Scan stands for Formetric Clinical Evaluation, this means the whole body (form) is scanned and assessed in a clinical setting and is measured (metric) for its position, weight bearing and movement. The technology is used worldwide in orthopaedic hospitals, private clinics and also in elite sports facilities."

The patient simply takes to the treadmill while the FCE scan completes its overview: "It basically works by placing a light grid comprised of many different angles over the spine and body with the system analysing thousands of points along the spine in micro-seconds, including the movement of each vertebrae," Eoin explained.

"If, for example, you notice the upper back is constantly moving to the left while the pelvis is constantly moving to the right it would be reasonable to expect tortion and where the pain would be. In a blind test we would be able to tell a patient the top three issues afflicting them very accurately."

So there's the scan. But there is also the plan, which the brothers say they dispense for free.

"Just as it's an objective scan is it an objective plan, telling the patient exactly what exercises to perform and for how long to address their issues."

It's a practice Eoin says is now complementing the work of existing physios and osteopaths.

"We actually refer a lot of patients to physios for extra work on the exact areas that are causing the patients problems, so it equips the physio with vital information as well," Eoin explained.

FCE Scanning is proving a great boon to athletes too - even those of them without injury, as a preventative tool telling them where they need to change their technique in order to minimise the risk to their limbs and torso.