Why medtech startup PMD raised €1.4m to work on a 'huge opportunity' in the Middle East

The Cork outfit develops wearables to monitoring patients’ breathing and is also looking towards Canada.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

PMD SOLUTIONS, A medical device company based in Cork, has raised €1.4 million as it prepares to take its product to the Middle East market.

The company, founded in 2011, has developed a wireless sensor device called RespiraSense that monitors a patient’s breathing for abnormalities.

Founder and chief executive Myles Murray said that respiratory rate is very difficult to measure because there are always several factors at play.

“We all change our breathing rate, even I’m changing my breathing rate just by speaking and that has led to a lot of current technology false alarming, resulting in clinical actions which are unnecessary,” he said.

RespiraSense, which is placed on the person’s chest, can distinguish between different physical movements, such as walking, according to Murray. This provides more accurate monitoring.

Abnormal breathing rate is one of the earliest indicators of patient deterioration, he explained, and early detection can help treat patients more effectively.

90362461 Myles Murray (left)
Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

“Abnormal respiratory rates are a ubiquitous sign of deterioration regardless of any particular clinical pathway whether it be heart-related or lung-related,” he added, but one common use case is with patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung affliction.

Middle East market

PMD has already secured customers in NHS hospitals in Britain and has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

With this new investment from several angel investors in tow, it is aiming to enter the Middle East market, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE, pending regulatory approval.

“We’ve always gone to geographies where we’ve found great partners,” Murray told Fora.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is going through a transition from public health to privately-held hospitals and there’s a huge opportunity in those hospitals wanting to lead in the latest medical innovations.”

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PMD also has designs on the Canadian market for its first foray into North America.

2020 will see the company directing much of its attention on these two disparate but key markets.

It currently employs a small team of five in Cork that Murray said will now be expanded throughout this year to focus “very much on engineering and sales and marketing personnel”.

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