Wednesday, June 10, 2020

A YOUNG man from Ballyduff, Kilmeaden is one of the co-founders of a company that has developed a patient-tracking system to help hospitals and organisations in their bid to tackle Covid-19.

Fionn Barron, Chief Operating Officer of Tracworx.

Having attended secondary school in St Declan’s, Kilmacthomas, Fionn Barron went on to study business in University of Limerick. During his first year, Fionn had to make the difficult decision either to stick with his studies or take the leap to go into business.

After taking the risk Tracworx was set up in 2016 by Fionn, who is Chief Operating Officer, his college friends Chris Kelly (CEO) and Eoin O’Brien (CTO). “It was not an easy decision to be made at the time but it was all for the best,” Fionn said. “It was a gamble that we had to take.”

Tracworx uses a real-time, patient tracking system to drive hospital efficiencies by automating their data collection and generating reports. It works on the existing Wifi systems in the hospitals, whereas traditional systems are based on heavy infrastructure that comes at a huge cost.

Essentially, a consenting patient is given a wristband tracking device to wear which gives hospitals complete transparency over where the patient has been.

“When we set up the company it was only a few months old when GDPR came into place. Everything is designed with privacy first so the data is not shared. The patient gives consent and it is something that they have to opt into,” he explained. The data is stored on their secure web-based system.

Like every business Tracworx has had its ups and downs, but the co-founders are optimistic about its future. The Limerick-based company was announced winner of the annual InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition last November and received funds for growth and sales. With their customer base growing in Ireland they have moved into the UK market, with further plans to expand into the EU.

Initially the company focused on patient flow and efficiency, but they have moved into contact tracing since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given the challenge presented by the pandemic, Tracworx adapted and repurposed a version of their product to help aid social distancing and trace where contacts have been. The mobile based version of their application allows healthcare providers to match the location history of a confirmed Covid-19 carrier with other users.

Although Fionn couldn’t give specifics on their clients, the product has been offered to hospitals and organisations to assist them to safely operate.

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