After completing a management buyout (MBO) from its former parent company, DeCare Systems of Cork has rebranded as 8 West and will focus primarily on innovative drone and IoT products.
The buyout from Anthem, Inc. was announced last November, and completed on January 1. It was entirely self-funded, and completed without venture capital.
As an independent 200-employee company with a startup mindset, the new 8 West will continue to offer software solutions to current clients but intends to develop IoT devices, including wearables, and to incorporate innovative uses for drones.
The company has developed wearable technology that alerts medical professionals and first responders should the user have a cardiac event. First responders can get real-time feedback on the effectiveness of CPR efforts on the patient, and through a partnership with DroneSAR, a drone can even be dispatched to the scene with medical equipment.
8 West also recently made inroads in the field of marine search and rescue with the development of SafeTRX, a smartphone app that allows the operator of a leisure craft to file voyage plans with local authorities, much like aircraft pilots file travel plans with air traffic controllers. Providing this information can help to alert authorities if a craft is in trouble, should it not check in at the appropriate coordinates as scheduled. SafeTRX provides an early warning system for authorities at sea, to help determine if a search and rescue operation is warranted.
In the future, drone technology may be incorporated into the marine search and rescue operations guided by SafeTRX, as in certain situations a drone may be dispatched to find a lost vessel, to record and transmit video of a craft in distress to rescue professionals, or to transport emergency supplies.
SafeTRX is currently in operation in nine countries and has logged over half a million hours of use. It was developed with assistance from search and rescue professionals from Australia, the Netherlands, Norway and Ireland among others.
Eamonn Franklin, co-CEO of the new 8 West, said, “We will continue our focus on enterprise-level development and consulting, creating elegant solutions to address complex business and technical needs, as well as developing new and exciting products and services.”