Cork/San Francisco based digital health start-up, Thalman Health, has been announced as the second Irish company to qualify for support and funding from the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC) in Ireland.
Led by Tyndall, the ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland consortium, which incorporates ESA BIC, was launched last year to help Irish start-ups use space technology to solve challenges on Earth and to help companies expand their offering by ‘spinning-in’ to space.
Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan TD, and Director General of the European Space Agency, Mr Jan Woerner welcomed the announcement during a visit to Tyndall.
Minister Halligan said: “Tyndall has a 30 year history of working with ESA and providing access to a range of capabilities and expertise, including testing technology intended for use in the harsh environment of space. With the addition of companies like Thalman Health, Ireland continues to strengthen and advance its role in the space sector”.
Thalman Health has developed novel wearable sensor technology which provides an easy to use alternative to traditional invasive (e.g. rectal probe) and/or episodic (e.g. oral thermometer) techniques for measuring core body temperature (CBT). This technology combined with Thalman Health’s proprietary algorithms enables health professionals and caregivers to detect the first signs of infectious fever hours before the current standard of care. By alerting users and carers to the early signs of illness before overt clinical signs manifest, the technology could provide a much bigger window for early intervention for those most at-risk, such as oncology patients or the elderly, and potentially save thousands of lives per year.
By joining ESA BIC, the many different applications for this platform technology will be demonstrated. The technology will be useful for astronauts (or other researchers) in space or on Earth to monitor their core body temperature continuously and conveniently. The sensor will enable mission planners and space researchers to continuously gather core body temperature data for monitoring astronauts during missions, and gather data for research into how space flight affects the human body.
David Gibbons, Manager of ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland, commented: “This is an exciting example of how space technology can improve our lives on the ground. ESA BIC, with support from Enterprise Ireland, will enable Thalman Health to accelerate the development and commercialisation of this technology which could potentially lead to a new and better way to prevent or treat illness.”
The multi-patented technology is currently in the final stages of product development, has completed pre-clinical testing, and is commencing clinical trials in preparation for obtaining regulatory approval in both healthcare and space applications.
About ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland:
The ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland, which incorporates ESA BIC, is the first of its kind in Europe. It is led by Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork in partnership with Athlone Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, and Irish Maritime and Energy Research Cluster. Funded by the European Space Agency and Enterprise Ireland, it aims to support the application of technologies developed for space to solve challenges on Earth and beyond. The centre is one of sixteen ESA BICs in Europe, which work to inspire entrepreneurs to turn space-connected business ideas into commercial companies.