Funding will be used to further develop US market and conduct new research.
Irish health and wellbeing garment producer Theya Healthcare has today announced that it has secured another investment for its medical garment business. The latest funding comes from the University of Vermont (UVM) Health Network, a not-for-profit integrated academic health system that serves more than one million residents in the northeastern US.
The investment into Theya Healthcare is made through the UVM Health Network’s Ventures team, which invests in healthcare innovations that benefit patients, families and the communities it serves.
This latest investment follows cumulative funding of €3.5m secured by the company in its two previous funding rounds, from a mix of individual investors and Enterprise Ireland.
The company, which produces bamboo fibre underwear designed specifically for post-surgical use under its Theya Healthcare brand, first entered the US market in 2019, when it signed a deal with US purchasing co-op Greenhealth Exchange, which specifies, screens and sources high-quality and ethically sourced products for its members. The deal saw the company become a preferred supplier to 11 large healthcare systems, including the Mayo Clinic, Dignity Health, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical and the UVM Health Network, among others.
Commenting on the investment from the UVM Health Network, CEO of Theya Healthcare, Ciara Donlon said: “We are delighted to have secured this significant investment from one of the world’s premier not-for-profit health systems. It’s a fantastic endorsement of our unique healthcare products, and will help us to further develop our reach across the US market.
“In addition to its reach across Vermont and Northern New York, the UVM Health Network is a member of a strong network of hospital groups, which will give us new access to the medical B2B market as we expand our footprint in the US.”
New US joint research study to show economic benefits of bamboo fabric
As part of its further expansion into the US market, the company is in talks with an Illinois-based hospital group about the roll-out of a joint research study. The study will explore the long-term economic benefits to health systems and insurers of Theya Healthcare’s post-surgical products, and will build on previous scientific research undertaken in conjunction with University College Dublin (UCD) in 2017.
The UCD research found that the company’s unique bamboo fabric mix is naturally highly anti-bacterial, absorbent and wicks moisture more efficiently than cotton or synthetic materials. It also showed that women who wore the Theya Healthcare post-surgical bras while recovering from breast cancer surgery reported significantly increased health status and body image, as well as reduced pain levels.
“Both our previous research and anecdotal evidence we have gathered over the past number of years clearly shows that our unique bamboo fibre mix aids post-operative wound healing, significantly decreases the likelihood of infection, and makes women feel better physically and psychologically”, said Ciara Donlon.
“It is our intention to build on this knowledge with this new joint study in the US, and to demonstrate how the use of our naturally anti-bacterial, highly absorbent, hypoallergenic, and thermally-regulating fabric can ultimately severely cut healthcare costs. It can do this by reducing the length of hospital stays and recovery periods, as well as lowering re-admission rates and drug prescriptions to address physical and psychological aftereffects.
“While health systems and hospitals around the world have been severely affected by the Covid crisis over the past year, as we are emerging from the pandemic, we are excited to accelerate our expansion in the US and across other markets to ensure access to our products by as many people recovering from breast, thoracic, pelvic or abdominal surgery as possible.”