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Borders firm’s thermal tech used in Covid fight

Amanda Pickford: confidence

A company has seen its thermal-imaging technology used in hospitals to tackle the Covid pandemic.

Shock Innovations, which trades as ThermaFY, has developed its technology on the back of government loans.

The Kelso-based firm’s founder, Amanda Pickford, was approached by a large NHS trust looking to install automated temperature-scanning stations across its hospitals in Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex.

Ms Pickford said: “During the first pilot our systems scanned over 150,000 people in just three months.

“Now the stations are a permanent feature, scanning over 7,000 patients and staff every day, helping to give people confidence that the hospitals are a safe environment.”

An initial loan from the Scottish Microfinance Fund, which is delivered by DSL Business Finance on behalf of the Scottish Government, was provided as part of an overall package to fund working capital when Shock Innovations set up in 2018.

Finance was also awarded from the Digital Development Loan Fund. This separate Scottish Government-funded initiative is delivered by DSL in partnership with Lanarkshire Enterprise Services to provide loans to small and medium-sized enterprises working to improve their digital capabilities and capacity.

Shock Innovations was approached in 2020 by US tech giant Microsoft to take on a project involving identification of foot and mouth disease in cattle in Colombia.

The Borders firm’s ThermaFY Agri Tech operation has been working on a solution which uses ear tags to scan, record and send cows’ temperatures to farmers’ smartphones.

Ms Pickford said: “Though our work in the digital health sector has been a big focus in the past year, our partnership with Microsoft to identify foot and mouth disease in cattle is ongoing.

“We have also been working on similar projects studying mastitis with local dairy farmers, and the Edinburgh Veterinary Hospital.”

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