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Monitoring device gives Reactec good vibrations

ReactecIncreased sales of a vibration monitoring device for power tool users helped Edinburgh-based health measurement company Reactec move into profit last year.

The company reported a pre-tax profit of £94,000 in 2017 compared with a loss of £369,000 in the previous 12 months. Turnover came in 35% higher at £3.6m (2016: £2.6m).

Growth is accounted for by the launch in 2016 of the company’s unique HAVwear system – based around a wrist-worn device that determines in real time an individual’s exposure to vibration during every day use of power tools.

By the end of 2017, the company had shipped more than 20,000 HAVwear units, with subscribers to its Reactec Analytics Platform – for the remote recording and analysis of vibration exposure – growing by more than 50% to reach some 550 customers.  

HAVwear is now used by a number of large private and public organisations in the UK, including British Airways, Murphy Group, Morgan Sindall, the Environment Agency, Siemens, Babcock and more than 70 local authorities.

Reactec continues to target other industry sectors in the UK and internationally, with strong interest shown in Australia and Scandinavia.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), which is also known as Vibration White Finger, is one of the most common industrial diseases in the UK. The condition is usually caused by the prolonged use of power hand tools, whose vibrations can damage the blood vessels, nerves, muscles and joints of the hand, wrist and arm. 300,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition, for which there is no known cure, only prevention.

During 2017, Reactec, which is backed by Edinburgh-based business angel investment syndicate, Archangels, increased its headcount by from 25 to 31.

Since the turn of the year, HAVwear has been independently validated by the Institute of Occupational Medicine, one of the UK’s most respected occupational health organisations. 

Jacqui McLaughlin, chief executive, said: “Reaching profitability is a major milestone for Reactec, but what is more important is that it coincides with a watershed for HAVwear as a product, as we see the whole issue of HAV monitoring achieving unprecedented profile and HAVwear’s role in this being both recognised and validated.”

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