Enabling miniature trackers: Durham startup OnTrack Technologies lands investors, dollars

https://www.wraltechwire.com/2021/08/27/enabling-miniature-trackers-durham-startup-ontrack-technologies-lands-investors-dollars/Enabling miniature trackers: Durham startup OnTrack Technologies lands investors, dollars

DURHAM – Startup OnTrack Technologies may be on track to bigger things, having closed $750,000 in funding and planning to raise an additional $1 million, according to an SEC filing.

The company, headquartered in Durham, launched with the idea of using new technology to design, manufacture, and produce miniature wearable location devices, specifically for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, company founder and CEO Penny Shikowitz told WRAL TechWire in an interview.

“However, the technology was quickly adopted by government and military organizations for use as custom miniature interactive relay and communication devices,” said Shikowitz.  That’s because the devices could capture biometric, acoustic, environmental, and geospatial data, enabling the relay of that data from forward operating units to remote command and control centers, she explained

“It became clear that there was an unfulfilled need for this type of product in commercial markets,” said Shikowitz.  “We expanded the systems into a robust Data Delivery as a Service offering that could easily be applied across multiple market verticals.”

Now, the company, bolstered by additional funding from an Atlanta-based family office and from Triangle-based Oval Park Capital, plans to use the funds to further validate its technology and business model.

“At the same time it will prove out our unit economics and scalability,” said Shikowitz.  “The funding will be deployed to increase headcount in support of our R&D, sales, and marketing efforts.”

Startup Spotlight: Oval Park Capital emerges from stealth, plans $25M fund

Behind the tech

The company’s Adaptive Data Exchange (ADE) stemmed from technology first implemented for the U.S. military, said Shikowitz.  Originally, the purpose was “to meet the challenges of capturing real-time data in the battlefield, under adverse conditions for data communications,” noted Shikowitz.

The key to the technology is that it is adaptive, said Shikowitz, meaning it can be configured to meet the needs of a variety of disparate industries.  “ADE is our current generation of technology for harvesting remote data – think IoT – in any format for use by our customers,” said Shikowitz.

The company believes it is set apart from other technologies, said Shikowitz.  That’s due to the ability of the company to deliver data to clients in real-time, and the ability to monitor the data across a variety of perspectives to inform decision-making, said Shikowitz.

Image: On Track Technologies website

In addition to military applications, the company’s technology is used in the healthcare industry.

“We discovered during our first pilot that medical practices are often staffed to maintain their current patient populations and are challenged to ramp up to the staffing levels required to support a new program like Remote Patient Monitoring,” said Shikowitz.

But it’s not enough to install technology and make it available for use.  To drive outcomes, particularly in healthcare, said Shikowitz, people, personnel, must also become knowledgeable and proficient in the use of and teaching of the technology to patients.

That’s why the company developed what it calls “turnkey remote patient monitoring,” or TRPM.

“We work as a direct extension of the practice and we’re a subscription-based service covering all upfront program costs, medical monitoring equipment, and a call center staffed with care guides that are assigned to the patients,” said Shikowitz.  “Our system not only allows patients to easily pair medical devices chosen by their provider to their own personal mobile phones and tablets, but also captures high-frequency biometric data from these devices and transfers it to the relevant parties.”

The company specializes in capturing remote data and delivering it in the right format at the right time, said Shikowitz.  “Our solution addresses multiple pain points for clients, including easy assimilation into existing systems without the need for modifications; data delivery that facilitates ML and AI based analytics; data exchange that is device and cloud-agnostic; and customization that supports their unique alerting and notification needs.”

According to Shikowitz, the healthcare industry is undergoing a massive transformation, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic magnified and accelerated this transition.  The company is expanding its investment in its TRPM solutions, because it believes that this technology “has the potential for large and rapid value creation for all participants in the RPM value chain, including patients, caregivers, providers, and payors by addressing each segment of the value-based-care continuum,” said Shikowitz.

The company previously raised funding from an Atlanta-based family office, who re-invested in the company’s latest round, said Shikowitz.

Oval Park Capital is an investor in the latest round, Shikowitz confirmed in an interview.  Oval Park Capital’s Justin Wright-Eakes will join the company’s board of directors as a part of the deal.

“Oval Park Capital’s strategy of investing in early-stage companies focused on underserved markets, along with their emphasis on commercializing disruptive technologies that solve complex problems where scientific and engineering breakthroughs can rapidly generate value was in perfect alignment with our technologies and objectives,” said Shikowitz.

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.