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‘Serendipitous moment’ brings ActionSense to the top table in Boston

29 November 2017

A chance conversation in Boston last week allowed Derry company ActionSense to pitch their state of the art Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis assessment product to one of the largest healthcare companies in Massachusetts.

Technical Director Warren Young was in the North East of America as part of the Ireland North West Trade and Investment Mission where he and 15 other local companies from the Derry/Strabane and Donegal Council areas were showcasing local entrepreneurship and innovation.

ActionSense produces novel wearable technology to monitor and measure the angle and velocity of movement in the fingers with its first product targeted at aiding the assessment of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Oestoarthritis. 

In addition to the wearable device or ‘smart glove’ they design and supply intelligent software to monitor, record and analyse the data produced from the device for both patient users and clinicians.

As well as a series of networking events organised by both Councils, the local companies set up their own meetings with potential clients before travelling.

But it was a 'serendipitous moment' that led to one of the biggest opportunities of their trip as they had the opportunity to pitch their product to the largest private employer and healthcare provider in the Massachusetts area, Partners Healthcare.

The not for profit network of hospitals and physicians treats more than a third of all hospital patients in the Boston Metropolitan area.

“We were told before we left that the key to this trip would be preparation and that proved to be the case,” stated Warren. “The schedule was busy from the off which required early mornings and early nights with a mixture of scheduled group events and my own arranged meetings.

“It was a serendipitous moment that led to one of our best connections however as a chance conversation led me to be invited on the coat tails of another meeting to get in front of the VP of Partners Healthcare.

“That was an opportunity that I could not have arranged on my own.

“Their Vice President of Government Affairs Joe Alviani introduced me to Dr Joseph Kvedar who has a particular interested in connected healthcare which matches up well to our wearable solutions.

“Our discussions have continued since I returned home last week.”

While his week of networking and meetings in Boston were useful, Warren admitted that the post event and follow up aspect of the trip would ultimately determine its long term success.

“I had a three-staged agenda and I’m happy having achieved 2/3 of that,” he said. “The networking opportunities are still unfolding and evolving as I follow up after the meetings.

“It was logistically challenging but the Benchmark team on the US side were able to support us with that.”

“There was a great deal of new learning from the trip, which now must be implemented back home.”