Based in the University Technology Centre, Curraheen Rd in Cork, 8 West Consulting is working on projects that include a fitness wrist strap-like device that sets off a signal if a person in the sea gets into difficulty. The device would alert rescue services, as well as drones, to a situation.
The 200-employee company, which partners with DroneSAR, is simultaneously working with first responders and doctors on wearable technology that would go off when a person wearing it had a cardiac event. First responders providing CPR would not only be alerted to an emergency but would also get feedback in real-time as to how effective the CPR is via audio and data. Remarkably, it may also lead to a drone flying upon the scene in minutes to drop vital equipment.
Known as DeCare Systems Ireland (DSI) for 20 years, it became 8 West Consulting on January 1 and is led by joint CEOs Eamonn Franklin and John Murphy, graduates of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) who bought out the previous management.
The pair said 8 West will continue to provide software development services to all its existing clients, including former parent company Anthem Inc — one of the USA’s largest private heath insurers.
Mr Franklin said: “Over the years, we’ve developed for big players like Amazon, Expedia, Macy’s and Bloomingdales. We’ve gone through a lot of clients and developed good relationships.
“We will be continuing to work with Anthem, but this allows us to also spread our wings.”
Mr Murphy, meanwhile, said 8 West had a projected revenue of €27m in 2017 and they were always looking to expand with quality graduates from the likes of CIT and UCC.
The company also owns and develops SafeTrx, the leading marine Search and Rescue product. Designed in close co-operation with coastguard and sea rescue organisations, SafeTrx helps reduce the risk of maritime accidents and the loss of human lives at sea. It is now in operation in nine countries with more than 500,000 recorded hours of use.
It is working on the cardiac event software with the Health Information Systems Research group led by Ciara Fitzgerald of UCC, cardiologist Peter Kearney of Cork University Hospital and the Irish Community Rapid Response group.
Working primarily in .Net and Java technologies, 8 West has been lauded for its team of architects, designers, developers and project managers. Crucially, hired graduates get to work on software development on day one.
Mr Franklin said: “We’ll continue to grow but very carefully. We’re interested in high-calibre hires and we’ve got a great relationships with UCC and CIT. The graduates coming in are developing their programming from day one.”
The 200-strong workforce includes 17 different nationalities and a number of staff who work remotely from global locations.