Light shining ahead for Zeta as it expands product portfolio
The Zeta Group designs and manufactures intelligent electronics for the automotive market. It was formed by Phil Shadbolt in 1989 as a spin-out of Oxford Brookes University
By the year 2000, Bicester-based Zeta had become the market leader in special purpose vehicle controls, and diversified into the LED and solar lighting markets.
Zeta Specialist Lighting now develops and manufactures LED and solar powered lighting systems, including for street and amenity lighting, signage and commercial lighting, helping to bring down energy bills and carbon emissions.
The business employs 35 people and turned over £4 million last year. For his services to business and innovation Phil was awarded an OBE in 2016. He is also a board director at Oxfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership.
He remains as ambitious as ever for Zeta. This summer the Group was part of a consortium, led by Swindon-based SSE Enterprise, which secured a £3.4 million government grant for a scheme to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging for drivers without off-street parking.
The £5.2 million EV scheme will see SSE Enterprise install 300 charging hubs at 35 local authority-owned car parks across Oxfordshire.
The company has also established a new company, Zeta Intersection Management, to development a traffic management system.
It is now seeking investment to develop its artificial intelligence control strategy which it says significantly improves traffic flow through roundabouts and intersections for connected and autonomous vehicles. Zeta is also celebrating 30 years of business by a further 50 per cent uplift in export sales.
Managing Director Adrian Dennis said: “Solar systems are driving growth, particularly in the UAE where there is, of course, an abundance of sunlight. We are also seeing increased demand for LED solar signage solutions among sign-makers in Europe, with sales of products including the Zeta Light Guide Panel and Bespoke Solar Signage Kit far exceeding targets.”
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Consultant Connect, saving the NHS time and money, and improving patient care
An award-winning service that helps time-poor GPs treat their patients more efficiently is being increasingly adopted by NHS trusts.
Founded in 2015, Oxford-based Consultant Connect gives GPs the capability to communicate immediately with medical specialists by telephone, instant message and photo-message when their patients are in the consulting room.
Consultant Connect says that the UK average response time to a call is an incredible 27 seconds and estimates that its telephone advice service has saved the NHS more than £12 million to date by ensuring patients are given the right treatment from the start.
It also estimates that more than 60 per cent of calls through Consultant Connect avoid unnecessary referrals to hospitals, including accident and emergency.
The service has so far expanded to more than 60 areas of the UK covered by 50 NHS Trusts.
The company has also established a national network of NHS consultants to help areas manage demand. These consultants are usually part-time and can take calls on their days off. They act as a back-up to local services and provide specialities that are not available locally.
The phone camera function on its Consultant Connect app has also led to a 75 per cent reduction in hospital referrals for skin conditions.
CEO, Jonathan Patrick, said: “This is a golden period for innovation in the NHS.
“Austerity has been an unbelievably tough challenge, but the silver lining is that commissioners and hospitals are more open to new ways of doing things.
“New ways of making money go further and improving patient care through technology.”
Medical imaging innovation is helping save lives of stroke patients
Brainomix, based in Oxford, is a medical imaging company using artificial intelligence (AI), for the fast diagnosis and treatment of stroke victims.
It was set up in 2010, spun out of Oxford University by co-founder and now CEO, Dr Michalis Papadakis, and aims to transform critical medical decision-making with its AI-powered imaging platform.
Following commercialisation in 2015, Brainomix’s software is now operating in 16 countries, in the UK and Europe.
Dr Papadakis said: “Currently every 30 minutes, a stroke patient who could have been saved dies, or remains permanently disabled, not because of the stroke but because they’re admitted to a hospital that doesn’t have the expertise to diagnose and select the patient for life-saving treatment.”
The company’s technology significantly increases a physician’s ability to diagnose and detect stroke damage on scans, compared to doing it manually, he added.
Last year the company attracted £7 million from a number of investors.
Now 300 hospitals, including publically-owned health care systems and private hospitals, have used the software.
The company estimates that so far more than 200,000 scans have been processed using Brainomix’s technology.
The company’ technology is currently going through the USA’s rigorous Federal Drug Administration approval and expects to receive clearance early next year. Brainomix was the first to develop an AI software platform specifically for stroke diagnosis. Its software can help hospitals that don’t have MRI scanners and must rely on more basic imaging.
Brainomix’s longer-term strategy is a global expansion and replicating their success with stroke on other diseases that can be transformed with their AI imaging platform.