Spektikor signals a change for emergencies
Designed for mass casualty situations and hazardous environments, these disposable heart rate monitors provide real-time patient assessment.
Natural disasters. Terrorist incidents. Even though global headlines are seemingly choked with more death and destruction than ever before, there is at least some reprieve in sight for those who rush into the immediate aftermath of such occurrences: first responders.
Finnish company Spektikor’s disposable heart rate monitors provide patients’ vital signs in just 20 seconds.
“Currently there is usually only one ECG or monitoring device per ambulance,” says CEO Lauri Kuronen. “If there are multiple people injured, it is not possible to assess everyone. We offer a quick situational awareness of the patient map.”
Measuring the width of two business cards, Spektikor’s lightweight device is quickly attached to the patient.
The LED indicator is then placed in plain sight, providing easy monitoring of vital signs via different coloured lights that indicate the patient’s status.
By speeding up the process and enabling simultaneous monitoring of multiple patients, survival rates are enhanced as first responders and paramedics can prioritise patients quickly.
“For chaotic emergency situations where there is a lot of noise and potential casualties, our devices are really simple to use,” Kuronen underlines.
Identifying the market need
The roots of Spektikor were planted in the northern city of Oulu in 2010. The first edition of the device flowered two years later, after extensive testing with the Finnish Defence Forces.
“We concentrated on the disposable side; if the device is contaminated by blood or chemicals, you can just throw it away,” Kuronen says. “We have since sold over 2 000 devices, mainly to military and emergency service providers such as ambulance, fire and police. We do business in niche markets.”
The device works in all conditions, from the scorching heat of deserts to frigid cold of the North Pole, and thus Spektikor has also begun establishing a presence in international markets. The company’s biggest customer in the UK is the National Ambulance Resilience Unit, and it also collaborates with mountain rescue there to help treat hypothermia patients.
“Once the orange bag is shut from head to toe, there is no visual contact,” Kuronen explains. “Our LED indicator is visible over the top of the bag and the patient can be monitored.”
Kuronen also points out that the company has NATO approval for the device, so it can be procured in all NATO countries.
The Red Cross and NGOs are also potential customers given the recent abundance of refugee camps that are putting a strain on facilities worldwide.
Training for the situation
According to Kuronen, the company hasn’t come across any competitors thus far. It should find out soon enough, however, with 2018 the year when it makes a big international push.
“The next few months is a market sprint and deep customer validation in Europe,” he says. “The Japanese market is also very interesting, mainly because of the unfortunate number of natural disasters there. We are now negotiating with a huge company there.”
Spektikor’s small team can’t be everywhere, and therefore it is looking for local partners who know about domestic markets and can help it with approval processes and sales.
“Hopefully in a year from now we have started in Japan and are in more European countries,” Kuronen says. “Germany is one of the biggest untapped markets for us, as is Turkey.”
Text: James O’Sullivan