Smart med firm in rude health

By Trish Dromey

A consultant’s bid to help his practice is now developing into a software leader, writes Trish Dromey.

A Cork medtech company set up 11 years ago by one of the city’s best known orthopaedic surgeons is fundraising, recruiting and making plans to scale internationally.

Set up by Karuppiah Mahalingam in 2007 as a small firm to develop software to run his own practice more efficiently, KM Medical is now in the process of developing a suite of software products which can be used by hospitals and clinics to manage billing, research, referrals, and other aspects of patient interaction.

KM Medical CEO Andy O’Donoghue

Last year, the company, which was selling practice management software to around 500 doctors mainly in Ireland, saw in the fast growing pace of the medtech sector, an opportunity to expand both its offering and its markets.

Raising €450,000 in funding from private investors and Enterprise Ireland, it increased its staff in Ireland from six to 12 and embarked on an extensive R&D programme.

CEO Andy O’Donoghue says that KM Medical grew its turnover by 50% last year and is now making plans to open a sales office in the UK, raise a further €2.5m in funding, and to double turnover to €2.5m by the end of the year.

The company’s original product, called iMedDoc is used to manage a range of activities including billing, appointment scheduling, referrals and managing patient information.

“Mr Mahalingham developed it to manage his own practice but a business was born when other consultants asked him if they could use it too,” said Mr O’Donoghue.

During 2017, the company recruited software developers to modularise this software and to create a range of products which could be used by hospitals and clinics as well as doctors to manage different activities.

The first of these was Mediclaim, which manages billing, and according to Mr O’Donoghue, is set to become the company’s biggest revenue earner.

“We have also created a product called iMedOrtho which captures, collates and reports on the outcomes of orthopaedic procedures,” said Mr O’Donoghue, adding that other products include a materials management module which keeps track of implants.

One of our most exciting developments is our Codified Pathways software. This manages the clinical pathway of patients through a hospital, using algorithms our platform has “learned” from expert clinicians. This is the first deployment off our medtech Artificial Intelligence platform.

Mr O’Donoghue says this predictive software is a first for an Irish medtech company and is set to be used by a large Irish hospital group in September.

This year, KM Medical is focusing on developing sales of its products to hospitals and clinics in Ireland, and in the UK, where it is already discussions with NHS Trusts as well as some private hospitals.

“Our clients include the Mater and St Vincent’s private hospitals as well as the Santry Sports Surgery Clinic and the South West London Orthopaedic Centre,” said Mr O’Donoghue, adding that the billing module, launched six months ago, is gaining traction quickly and is being deployed in the Santry Sports Clinic as well as two other Irish hospitals and one in the UK.

Headquartered at the South Terrace Medical Centre in Cork, where it carries out its R&D, the company has a sales office with a staff of three in Dublin. 

For the last few years, KM Medical has also an office in India with a staff of 40, where back office functions and administration are carried out.

“This summer we plan to open a new office in London and by the end of the year we expect to increase our staff size in Cork to 20,” said Mr O’Donoghue, adding that this will most likely involve a relocation to a larger premises.

Targeting the UK this year, KM Medical will look at other markets in Europe next year and, according to Mr O’Donoghue, is already in discussions with some hospitals and clinics in the Middle East.

Continuing with R&D and working towards the goal of creating paperless hospitals, KM Medical is targeting a turnover of €5m by 2020.

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