Less than a year ago, MEG, an Irish healthcare tech company, raised more than €500,000 in seed funding to grow its operations and now it is targeting up to €5 million.
The firm, which provides quality management and compliance software to healthcare facilities, had planned a Series A funding round for September 2022, but has moved it forward to take place in the coming months.
The move comes on the back of a period of rapid growth in which MEG increased sales by 91 per cent over the last year.
Founder Kerrill Thornhill, from Shannonbridge in Offaly, said the company’s all-in-one platform aimed to bring healthcare technology into the 21st century. The product helps hospitals speed up their audit and quality management processes while also reducing their reliance on paper.
Thornhill, who is now based in Dublin, said the software allowed frontline healthcare workers to spend less time on paperwork and more time with patients. The platform, which is in use in more than 60 healthcare facilities globally, allows hospitals to cut auditing times by 50 per cent and reporting times by more than 80 per cent.
“It makes the hospital safer for patients, and reduces the workload on frontline workers as well,” Thornhill said.
The 45-year-old is a finalist in Enterprise Ireland’s Founder of the Year competition, which takes place this summer.
The company has backing from the Arab Palestinian Investment Company, a fund with operations around the Middle East and which is the biggest employer in Palestine.
MEG, which hopes to double its headcount to 30 in the coming year, has contracted a number of people in Palestine to help develop its software.
“At a personal level, that’s something I’m quite proud of, because you’re creating positive things that you can do,” Thornhill said.
More generally, he said the pandemic – and, more recently, the HSE cyber attack – had focused public attention on the systems underpinning healthcare services in Ireland and abroad.
MEG believes it is well placed to equip hospitals with the tools they need to speed up their compliance protocols, with its mobile-driven technology that gives staff access to incident reports, audits, inspections and other records once stored largely on paper.
Thornhill said he realised quickly that “the problem we were solving in Irish hospitals is a common thing – there’s a common set of problems that we fix, which fall under quality management”.
“It doesn’t matter where you are in the world – quality and patient safety is the same problem,” he said.
While other companies already perform some of the same functions offered by MEG, Thornhill said his firm did not have many competitors that offer the same range of services or that can tailor their product to the different regulatory requirements in different countries.
He added, however, that the market was growing as hospitals seek a more efficient solution to meet their quality needs.
If competition is growing, then so too is MEG’s confidence: hence the moving forward of the funding round.
“We’re better off going hard now. We’ve got a good foundation, so we can move quickly,” Thornhill said.