Awarepoint’s New CEO Enacts Plans to Expand Wireless Health Business, Software Portfolio

It’s been a busy seven months since healthcare technology executive Jay Deady took over as the CEO at San Diego’s Awarepoint, which specializes in real time location systems (RTLS) technology for hospitals and other healthcare providers.

The company raised about $9 million from its venture investors with Deady’s arrival, and Awarepoint acquired a Charlotte, N.C. software developer, Patient Care Technology Systems, in April for an undisclosed amount. As part of that deal, Deady tells me he has been remaking Awarepoint’s workforce, first by reducing the company’s roster from 72 to 61 in January, and then by hiring new sales representatives and account managers. Awarepoint now has 102 employees, including those from Patient Care.

Awarepoint also has been raising what Deady says will be the company’s final round of venture capital, which he expects to close before August.

So how do the changes reflect the new CEO’s strategy?

Jay Deady

Deady says when he was considering the CEO’s job last fall, he thought Awarepoint had done a great job of developing its healthcare-focused technology. The company’s approach to real-time tracking combines a wireless sensor network (based on the ZigBee standard) with radio frequency identity (RFID) tags to actively track medical equipment, supplies, and people throughout a hospital. He says he also thought Awarepoint had acquired some great customers, including the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., the UC San Diego and UC San Francisco Medical Centers, and had contracts with Phoenix-based Banner Health and Oakland, CA-based Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.

Yet the company was still facing a fundamental challenge: After launching its technology in early 2008, Deady says Awarepoint had acquired about 8 to 9 percent of the RTLS market in the United States. But industry analysts estimate that the total RTLS penetration of the healthcare market amounts to only about 10 to 12 percent in North America, and just 5 percent internationally.

In other words, Awarepoint was having difficulty expanding its business—at least partly because the healthcare market has been slow to adopt wireless monitoring technologies in general.

Deady’s strategy was to use the Patient Care acquisition to broaden … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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