Cork-based Thalman Health seeks $2m to fund wearable tech

Entrepreneur of the Year CEO retreat: James Foody’s start-up remotely monitors patients

Thalman Health, which has developed a system for remotely monitoring at-risk patients, is seeking to raise $2 million in new funding to bring its wearable solution to market.

The Cork-based start-up is the brainchild of 26-year-old James Foody, from Enniscrone in Sligo.

Mr Foody was named Ireland's best young entrepreneur in 2015. In addition, Ayda, a former incarnation of Thalman, that designed a wearable fertility tracker, was previously named as the country's best start-up.

Thalman raised $550,000 in seed funding in June 2015 from investors that included Enterprise Ireland.


“We are actively talking to investors and expect the new funding round to close within the next two months,” said Mr Foody, who is based in San Francisco.

"The new funding round is very much geared towards getting FDA approval for the solution and bringing it to market," he added. The start-up, whose backers include PCH founder and chief executive Liam Casey, is focused on reducing infection-related morbidity, mortality and re-admission in outpatients undergoing treatment for cancer.

“Fever is the cornerstone of infection management globally which is why nurses walk around taking patients temperature so frequently. However, if you’re in a situation where you’re only checking manual readings every four to six hours then you’re not necessarily going to spot patterns, you end up reacting when people are already very ill,” said Mr Foody.

Change the paradigm

“We’re trying to change that paradigm by coming up with a device that is effectively an alternative to thermometers. It continually monitors the core body temperature and identifies early signs of infection so as to provide a much bigger window for early intervention for those most at-risk, such as oncology patients or the elderly,” he added.

Speaking on the fringes of the EY Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year chief executives' retreat, Mr Foody said the company recently rebranded from Ayda to Thalman Health as it decided to switch focus from the consumer space to the healthcare sector.

“We’re using the same core technology as initially developed but we realised we could have a bigger impact in the healthcare sector and yet still license or partner the solution for the consumer space,” said Mr Foody.

Thalman has now completed pre-clinical tests on the system but has yet to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

“The product is at a very mature stage and we are working with our clinical partners here to compile more data to work towards approval, which shouldn’t take too long because unlike a drug or surgery tool, our solution is non-invasive. We’re hoping it will be on the market this time next year,” said Mr Foody.

“The cost to make the product is low so it should be reasonably priced,” he added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist