Kiwi smart sock showcased at global event

Auckland, September 23, 2013 - A breakthrough compression sock that targets a multi-billion dollar global market for effective wound care management will be showcased to decision makers in the medical technology industry in the United States this week.

Kiwi start-up Footfalls & Heartbeats Limited (FHL) has developed a revolutionary process for manufacturing intelligent textiles where functionality is integrated into the fabric structure to make the textile itself the sensor.

It is using the fabric to create a ‘smart sock’ to enable the more precise application of compression to support the treatment of venous leg ulcers that will help reduce the downstream complications and costs often associated with the condition.

The sock and the underlying technology will be on display at AdvaMed (Advanced Medical Technologies Association) from 23 – 25 September, the annual conference of the world’s largest medical technology association.

It is the first time FHL has taken its offering to AdvaMed, which takes place in Washington DC.

In addition to exhibiting at the event, the company will give a presentation to potential customers and funding partners on 24 September.

The smart sock, when combined with a multilayer bandage system, can measure and convey  information to medical staff, allowing health practitioners to ensure optimal pressure which medical literature suggests will improve treatment outcomes. The compression level can be transferred by linking the sock to electronic equipment or, in a new innovation, a detachable interface which is about the size of a matchbox, opening the way for easy remote monitoring of people with venous leg ulcers.

FHL is working with researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU), selected as a research partner because NCSU hosts one of the world’s leading smart textile groups as well as the Centre for Robotics & Intelligent Machines which has specialist expertise in the interface between textiles and information output.

FHL’s founder and Chief Operating Officer Simon McMaster says the company’s skin friendly sock is truly disruptive technology for the wound healing market and he expects keen interest in the product at AdvaMed.

“It’s an opportunity for us to meet people working at the front line of wound healing and for movers and shakers in the medical technology field to see first-hand what our product can do.

“Our technology has a wide range of other potential applications in the medical technology area, including compression therapy for burns rehabilitation and lymphedema. AdvaMed is a perfect forum to progress some of these future opportunities.”

There is strong interest in FHL’s technology, with the company expecting to begin commercialising its compression sock through a partner in the United States early in 2014.

FHL is also offering a range of licensing opportunities, which it will be discussing with potential partners at AdvaMed.

FHL’s Managing Director Brent Ogilvie says AdvaMed is a forum for the company to make new connections and highlight its technology in the world’s largest market for wound healing and other healthcare products.

“FHL has already attracted funding and resources from a number of quality investors and developed promising business relationships with potential licensees. AdvaMed will build on that and I am confident it will help the company move to the next level,” he says.

FHL’s presentation, titled Footfalls and Heartbeats, takes place on 24 September at 4.15pm (US time) at the conference venue. Please find more details here.

For further information and media enquiries, contact

Brent Ogilvie Tel +64 (0)21 605566; +64 (0)93040868 

Simon McMaster Tel +44 (0) 7743558942 (United Kingdom)

About Footfalls & Heartbeats

Footfalls & Heartbeats has developed a process for designing and manufacturing textiles where the textile itself can perform a sensory function.  Footfalls & Heartbeats' textile can currently measure compressive force, tensile force and temperature. Footfalls & Heartbeats intends to also sense movement and bio-electrical output including heart-rate. Footfalls & Heartbeats is pursuing multiple applications including compression bandages (its first product application), remote physiological monitoring of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke patients, workers in high-risk environments, infant and aged-care, athletic performance as well as composite structural integrity monitoring.

About Pacific Channel

Pacific Channel is New Zealand’s leading venture creation, development and investment firm focused on start-up and early-stage material and life-sciences and clean-tech innovation. Through its expertise, seed funds and access to external capital, Pacific Channel creates, builds and funds high growth potential companies. Pacific Channel is a cornerstone shareholder in Footfalls & Heartbeats.