KYMIRA are a multi award winning smart textiles company, making the access to cutting edge technology and medical devices as simple as getting dressed. Since 2013 they have been on a mission to save or positively impact the lives millions of people through the use of their technologies.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
During my undergraduate degree, I had been working on the development of what became KYMIRA’s first technology (infrared emitting materials) for medical applications. As most students, I did not have the ~£2m I had worked out I would need to fund all the clinical trials and regulatory work to turn that into a medical device. The options ahead of me were:
- Do a PhD, which I didn’t feel was the right fit as I wanted the technology to be stuck in a lab – I wanted to see it helping people, I had already spent 5 years on it.
- Give up – not an option!
- Find another way
As you can guess, I went for option C which essentially started KYMIRA with a question. “Can you use a non/lesser regulated market (in this case sports) to commercialize and validate a medical technology, and then part fund its transition back into medical application?”…… the short answer is yes! We achieved that in 2017 thanks to our partners, and the IR tech has been helping everyone from the world’s top athletes, through to people in retirement communities and care homes ever since. We are now repeating this model with our latest technologies coming to market, sensor enabled garments.
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
Over the last couple of years, we evolved into a very different company. We are 4x the size now for one thing, with 40 staff now, and we have been turning what was an idea on paper into a reality. A lot of our hard work has gone into our new technologies which will firmly cement our place as a scalable smart textiles business. This has been the development of our “active technology” portfolio.
- Active = with electronics,
- Passive = without electronics.
We set out on a mission in 2016 to develop a smart garment that will be able to diagnose an acute cardiac event (such as a heart attack), 48 hours before it happens. Since 2020 the pace at which we have been evolving has shifted up a gear. We are not there yet, but over the past couple of years we have been maturing the fundamental production processes, the sophistication of the physical technology itself and the software layers of both the infrastructure and data science. We’re already seeing our prototypes enabling world leading research, and are full steam ahead to release the first non-regulated products, again for sporting use, to market in early 2023. I am so excited to see them out there and supporting professional sports teams around the world.
Not just because I know how valuable these products will be in sporting applications, but because it is the next step in our evolution to eventually be saving people’s lives!
What can we hope to see from KYMIRA in the future?
I have hinted to what you can expect from us in terms of new innovations, but in a nutshell, it will be the fusion of our various technologies to deliver high impact, one day life saving products that we intend to be used in homes around the world. These will be used in applications as varied as performance sports, medical devices to diagnose acute cardiac events (such as heart attacks) and I hope in new industries such as the arts, TV & film production.We’re evolving our brand so that our external communications match our vision and ambition and I can’t wait to achieve the milestones we set ourselves