Smart textile technology showcased to investors in Australia

Auckland 28th October: Footfalls & Heartbeats will be exhibiting for the first time at Australia’s largest biotech investment forum which is being held in Melbourne, attracting more than 300 life science professionals from Australia and across the globe.

The New Zealand-based company has developed a revolutionary process for manufacturing intelligent textiles where functionality is integrated into the fabric structure to make the textile itself the sensor. Its first product is a compression sock that targets the global market for effective wound care management.

Footfalls & Heartbeats is part way through a capital-raising round and Managing Director Brent Ogilvie says there is strong interest, with almost one million dollars of investment commitments received to date - including investment from individuals holding senior roles in leading Australian medical technology companies.

Funds raised in the current round will be invested in business development, patents and new product development, including a smart vest for athletes and applications for the aged care market.

A key advantage of Footfalls & Heartbeat’s technology is its potential for remote and continuous monitoring that will enable the new ‘quantified self’ market - the movement that allows individuals to track measures of their own wellness.

“We are delighted by the level of interest in our technology which has exciting potential in a range of sectors. Ausbiotech Invest is an opportunity to meet new investors and attract new resources to the company,” says Ogilvie.

The ‘smart sock’ developed by Footfalls & Heartbeat, and due for release in January 2014, targets the treatment of venous leg ulcers, providing the correct level of tension to enable healing without causing skin damage. It is expected to help reduce the downstream complications and costs often associated with the condition.

Footfalls & Heartbeats is working with a range of research organisations and hospitals around the world including North Carolina State University (NCSU), Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital and Nottingham University in the United Kingdom.

Footfalls & Heartbeats recently took part in the Advamed medical technology conference in the United States, attracting “a high level of interest” says Ogilvie, who arrives at Ausbiotech Invest from presenting at the WBT Innovation Marketplace, the world’s largest gathering of undiscovered companies and new intellectual property. Footfalls & Heartbeats was the only New Zealand company selected to present at the event this year.

Technology entrepreneur Jeremy Collins, who sits on the Footfalls & Heartbeats board, says the level of interest in the company’s technology is testament to its potential.

“This is world-class technology which has possibilities in markets ranging from health and athletics to emergency management and composites. It’s a great time to be taking the company to the Australian investor market.”

The global market for smart textiles and their applications is growing and is expected to reach US$2.6 billion by 2017.

Another area of interest for Footfalls & Heartbeats is targeting companies that sell compression garments to performance athletes with a goal of reducing lactic build up, accelerating post-exercise recovery and increasing oxygen blood flow to the muscles. Products are also being investigated for ‘personal protection equipment’ that will support workers in high risk and hazardous environments.      

“Aged care is also an important focus,” says Ogilvie. “Health costs are escalating around the world and our technology provides a tool to reduce those by improving wound healing and giving people the ability to monitor their own health conditions.”

Longer term, there is potential for the technology to be used to measure mechanical stress in satellites, aircraft wings, wind turbine blades, yacht hulls and high-performance cars.

Ogilvie also heads investment firm Pacific Channel, which works with inventors to create high growth companies, such as Footfalls & Heartbeats in which it is a cornerstone shareholder.

Brent Ogilvie will be presenting Footfalls & Heartbeats at Australia Biotech Invest on Tuesday 29 October at midday in the session titled Biotech Company Spotlight Presentations.

For further information and media enquiries, contact

Brent Ogilvie Tel +64 (0)21 605566; +64 (0)9 3040868

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