As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on its new bill to rein in health costs, entrepreneurs across the country continue to do their part to make the lumbering, disjointed health system more efficient. The latest such company in the Deal Radar spotlight is RadarFind Corporation, which develops integrated real-time location systems (RTLS) for tracking mobile medical equipment and patients. Designed by physicians and hospital administrators specifically for the hospital environment, it has been developed based on over two years of qualitative research conducted with more than 60 hospitals.
RadarFind integrates with existing hospital infrastructure and operations to offer non-disruptive installation, enterprise-wide coverage, wireless operation, and information on equipment status (available, in-use or needs cleaning) in addition to location.
RadarFind was founded by Bobby Bahram, CFO and Steve Jackson, CTO. They developed the idea of a hospital-centric RTLS when they realized the need for tracking assets in a hospital while conducting research for a Wi-Fi security vendor. Intent on exploring the possibility of a new business, Bahram and Jackson interviewed hospitals, healthcare providers and technology experts. During these discussions they connected with former surgeon Dr. Vincent Carrasco, who today is RadarFind’s chief medical officer, and RadarFind was designed as a result of this research.
Dr. William (Terry) Kane joined RadarFind as CEO in 2006. He was the former president and CEO of InteCardia, a cardiology imaging company which was later sold to Syncor International. Prior to that, Dr. Kane was EVP and COO of Sharp Healthcare, a six-hospital system in San Diego, CA. He has also held senior executive positions with US Healthcare, CIGNA and Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia, PA). His background in hospital administration and health care adds depth and perspective to the development and sales process of RadarFind.
Founded in 2004 and based in Morrisville, NC, RadarFind is designed and manufactured entirely in the state. It is protected by three US patents with others pending. The company has a total $10 million in funding: a $2.5 million Series A in 2005 and a $5.5 million Series B followed by an additional $2 million in financing in 2008. RadarFind is backed by Durham-based NC IDEA, Westwind Investors Management Co. of Incline Village, NV and private individuals. It is in the process of closing another round to help advance patient tracking technology in hospitals and to help streamline the flow of patients in hospitals, from scheduling tests to keeping rooms filled with patients.
In 2004, RFID tracking systems were available on a limited basis in the healthcare environment. At that time, the location technology was built for an industrial warehouse environment and failed to adequately address the unique needs of hospitals. RadarFind’s aim was to develop a hospital-centric system to fill that need.
The company differentiates itself from the competition by using technology that capitalizes on the experience of early users of systems encompassing RFID and Wi-Fi. Based upon synchronous MIMO (multiple input/multiple output), smart-antenna wireless communication can take place between RTLS components in the 900 MHz frequency band without any interference with existing Wi-Fi networks or a hospital’s IT department. The system boasts being more accurate, highly usable and more cost effective than its competition. Many competing systems have higher installation costs, disruption to patient rooms, significant ongoing maintenance cost.
The RTLS market in healthcare is extensive, with over 5,700 hospitals in the US representing approximately 950,000 beds. RadarFind projects that the addressable market (hospitals with more than 100 beds) is approximately $2.5 billion plus recurring revenues for software and support. Healthcare IT market research firm KLAS estimates that the current market penetration is less than 5% with many hospitals evaluating pilot implementations in one department as opposed to full hospital deployments. This shows a high growth potential and a strong intent among hospitals to purchase within one to two years.
The RadarFind RTLS is targeted at mid to large size hospitals and multi-hospital systems as the system can scale for installation at multiple sites. The company currently has contracts with several independent hospitals and four multi-hospital systems, including Lourdes Health System. The RadarFind system is fully operational in six hospitals, including Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, NC, Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, NC and Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, NJ. Each system covers 100% of the acute-care and support facility areas of every installation site.
The RadarFind system was first deployed using Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro, NC as a beta site in 2006. The hospital realized a full return on investment of over $400,000 within less than a year of implementation. These savings were in the form of reductions in infusion pump purchases, bladder scanners and other cost avoidances. Wayne Memorial is now a paying customer with RadarFind even after the beta.
Although exact figures are unavailable, the company is currently focused on revenue growth and is on its way to profitability. In 2007, RadarFind was named among the top 50 Most Innovative Firms by TechJournal South and in 2008 it received the ‘Most Innovative Use of Technology’ award by the North Carolina Technology Association. For the future it aims at continually expanding its hospital network. To increase sales, it offers RadarFind RTLS to hospitals only for asset tracking and later works on integrating other capabilities like temperature tracking and patient tracking into the program. Presently, the company has plans to grow to a profitable stage and seek strategic partners to enhance its growth.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009