A Belfast company could revolutionise the world of thermometry in global healthcare systems as orders for its contactless thermometer have soared tenfold during the coronavirus crisis.
Trimedika, run by chief executive officer Dr Roisin Molloy and chief operating officer Julie Brien and founded just four years ago, has generated half a year's worth of business in just one month as orders from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Kuwait, Australia and more flood into the office located in west Belfast.
"We're paddling as fast as we can," Mrs Brien said.
"There are orders coming in because of the coronavirus outbreak but we are also seeing this fast track in orders from hospitals that we had already pitched to. Everyone is moving faster."
As well as welcoming new markets on board, the virus has opened up new segments in various markets including prison services and cruise liners.
Dr Molloy said: "Our production lines are flat out at the minute. We are ramping numbers up per run and at the minute that would be tenfold.
"We had, thankfully, done a bit of recruitment earlier in the year and doubled the size of our team and the result of that couldn't have come at a better time. We also had 16 distributors onboard globally already and 50 more have shown interest since the outbreak."
The new recruits are multilingual continued Mrs Brien, who added that the company has been contacted directly by Covid-19 response teams.
The unprecedented demand will undoubtedly change the way hospitals around the world use thermometers, the pair believe.
"Unlike the devices we're displacing, which test temperature under the arm, in the ear or under the tongue requiring the need of a plastic cap, our thermometer needs zero consumables, zero contact and can take a temperature held 3-5cm away from the patient's forehead," said Dr Molloy.
"Results are immediate and it's a much more comfortable experience that will help infection control while saving money and environmental impact."
Dr Molloy said a typical 900-bed hospital will take around one to two million temperature readings per year, which means one to two million plastic caps are disposed of and creating two million unnecessary contact points with patients.
"We're hearing at the minute from some hospitals using contact thermometers that there is a short supply of plastic covers because of high demand and we have been told by one country in Europe that they will no longer use thermometers that are not contactless."
The business partners have described the rapid boost in business as "bittersweet".
Mrs Brien added: "We are glad what we do will play a role in offering some form of protection during these unprecedented times. It has prompted healthcare systems to consider changes and shone a light on how beneficial the contactless thermometer is."
Angela Wilson, medical marketing consultant, said: "The amount of regulations that Roisin and Julie are stringent about has ensured they have a really high standard of product. It was set up in a way that they could ramp up their production. The ship has come in and they were absolutely ready for this. Their hard work is a credit to them."
Dr Molloy said new orders are still flowing in daily and "from very far afield".
She added: "We're an Invest NI business and as a local government agency, they have really helped us. We have attended the two major trade shows - Arab Health and Medica - this year and people would have placed orders there and then had the opportunity been there. What we have to do, once we have satisfied all orders, is to reconcile where we are going forward."