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Northern Powerhouse European Union

R&D grant provides springboard for KMS Solutions


Manchester-based KMS Solutions helps to deliver digital healthcare solutions via simple to operate software. Products are designed to support vulnerable adults who want to maintain their independence, as well as children, while also providing peace of mind for their carers.

The company established the KIT (Keep in Touch) wristband in 2015, a mobile phone and GPS tracker miniaturized into a simple wearable device. KMS Solutions then went on to design b.con software, a web-based geo-location platform allowing carers for people wearing the KIT to locate their whereabouts while an alert system notifies them when a loved one has left a “safe zone”. 

The challenge:

The business needed support taking their idea from the drawing board to market, and were also looking for advice around funding and introductions to possible backers and new business partners.

The solution:

KMS began working with Sonia Neto, innovation advisor at the Hub. She immediately helped them to secure a research and development grant of £2,000, which allowed them to speed up the R&D process, and develop and test five prototype devices.

Director Chris Etchells explains: “Being awarded the grant allowed us to take KIT from a concept to a physical product that can be shown to investors and partners. The prototypes were a springboard for us and opened the door for current partnerships which are an integral part of our business journey.”

KMS were also referred to the Hub’s North West Business Angels (NWBA) service, where they received training in how to deliver the perfect business pitch, with coaching, expert feedback and the chance to deliver practice pitches.

And Chris adds: “One of the most important things we did was go through the NWBA pitching process, the feedback we received was invaluable and a great boost to our confidence. As a result we had several expressions of interest in KIT and built relationships with investors which may prove to be instrumental for our business”.

The success of the KIT wristband and b.con software led to the evolution of the KMS MyTrav app, designed in partnership with Telefonica. MyTrav allows children with special educational needs to undertake independent travel and is currently in beta testing with Newcastle City Council. The software allows the user to create and store a journey map and as the traveller reaches pre-defined landmarks, text, voice and photo prompts give instructions on what to do next. Carers and parents can monitor progress using the b.con platform and set up alerts if the user fails to arrive at an allotted time or goes off route.

KMS have received industry recognition for their innovative approach to healthcare technology and the MyTrav app won the Dynamites 15 Award for Project of the Year Public Sector 2015 at the annual Dynamo Awards in Newcastle.

Sonia commented “It has been a pleasure to work with Chris and the team at KMS, their pioneering technology is transforming lives and has huge scope for future development. One of the first challenges in developing new technology is the production of a prototype but with some one-to-one support from the Hub, KMS have overcome this hurdle and continue to go from strength to strength.”


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