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Medical device firm Trimedika creates mirror image over border to curb Brexit

 

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Dr Roisin Molloy

Dr Roisin Molloy

Dr Roisin Molloy

The Belfast medical company behind a revolutionary thermometer has said its growth is being slowed by the impact of Brexit.

Trimedika, which was set up three years ago by Dr Roisin Molloy and Julie Brien, has attracted significant global interest for its non-contact infra-red reader.

Around 1,000 units are already in use, but the company's plan to deliver between 20,000 and 30,000 devices this year has been hit by potential clients in the EU delaying major orders.

The small start-up firm, based on the Springfield Road, has said it is being forced to effectively mirror itself across the border, doubling costs by setting up new premises, staff and warehouse in the Republic.

Chief executive Roisin Molloy said: "We've have three large customers in Germany who've been trialling our device for the last year.

"And each one of them has said in the past week that there was going to be complications buying from us because of the Brexit situation."

Rather than focus on growth and developing its next generation thermometer, the firm is now in problem-solving mode, she said.

Chief operating officer Julie Brien said: "It's not just a question of setting up another company in the south.

"We will also have to set up logistics capacity and proper warehousing so the goods don't go out of the EU jurisdiction.

"It means us having to finance and support two stocks of product and two sales offices."

Dr Molloy added: "It's double the accounts, double warehousing, double sales staff, double everything.

"It is a big issue."

Trimedika's TriTemp device's technology allows it to read the infrared energy coming off the body and calculate a core body temperature. It means no contact, cutting back on costs and infections.

The thermometer has already been sold into 10 markets, with companies in 50 other markets expressing an interest.

A next generation wi-fi enabled device that could instantly update patient records is already in development.

The co-founders have said it could help cut down on transcription error in hospitals.

But the delay in orders has left the company without the revenue it had expected to further develop the product.

"It actually pulls you away from the most important thing that we have to do, which is sell our product, create our revenue and invest that back into the development of future products," said Ms Brien.

"It's an unwanted and significant distraction for where we are at the moment, but we have to deal with it."

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