Israeli medical device company EarlySense is entering the Chinese market. The company, which develops and markets systems for non-obtrusive monitoring of the medical state of patients using a device placed under the patient's mattress, has announced a cooperative venture with Chinese company Laxis. Laxis is developing a hospital management kit, which will include Earlysense's monitoring system.
"This is part of our entry into Asia," says Earlysense CEO Avner Halperin. "It began with an investment by a leading Chinese group. At the same time, we also have business in Japan, which includes an investment by Japanese company Mitsui and a marketing agreement in Japan, where we are waiting for confirmation. We regard 2018 as our breakthrough year in Asia. In the coming years, the US market, in which we have already been active for several years, will still be important for us, but after some years, both the US and Asia will be important markets. The Asian market, especially in China and Japan, features rapid aging of the population, and constitutes a huge opportunity. It is hard to get in there, but it appears that we have found the right platform."
Laxis which is part of a group of companies called United Imaging, and is partly owned by the Chinese government, has developed a hospital management systems that contains a manual device that reads the barcode on the patient's bed and displays to the doctor or nurse information from monitoring devices, imaging tools, and systems monitoring the administering of drugs. Halperin explained, "A combination of our system with the monitoring system for giving medicines will be interesting. The connection between administering a certain drug, for example for pain, and changes in the patients breathing and pulse pattern can be seen with a specific patient, and the effect of the drug on him can be understood." Concerning the possibility of drug dosages being adjusted automatically according to the patient's response, Halperin said, "There is no doubt that the monitoring sector is moving in this direction, but a lot more research is needed."
Halperin added, "The entire system, including our component, still has to be approved by the Chinese regulator, but we believe that it will happen fairly quickly. Laxis told us that substantial revenue from the products will arrive already next year." He went on to say that Earlysense's system had already monitored 500,000 patients in 100 hospital wards worldwide to date, mostly in the US. "Every day, we get a report about someone whose life was saved by the device," Halperin says.
The company's main product is a device marketed to hospitals and senior citizens' homes. The device is placed under the mattresses in hospitals, or as a component within the chairs on which the patients sit. The product is being marketed both independently by Earlysense and by medical devices company Welch Allyn. The company also has cooperation agreements with three companies operating in adjacent fields.
EarlySense previously expressed interest in an IPO. Halperin says now that this possibility is under consideration, but not in the immediate future. "We raised $25 million last year last year - that was a big round. We're well financed and growth-oriented. An offering is part of our plans for the future, because we plan on building a large and significant company."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on May 24, 2017
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