This week we are celebrating 25 years since we launched our first version of our Companion product and the start of our journey of product innovation through to our full range of alarms and monitoring solutions that we have today. We are also celebrating the life of our founder David Godfrey who sadly passed away at this time last year.
The first iteration of the Companion was developed by David Godfrey to help a local family whose daughter, Jessica, was suffering Tonic/Clonic epileptic seizures at night. At that time David knew nothing of epilepsy but fortunately did know a great deal about electronics having designed all the control systems for the tilting Advanced Passenger Train and many pressure control & measuring products.
David adapted a sensor already on the market so that it could detect bed movement, added a small microcomputer to determine if the pattern could be a seizure and coupled in a cheap wireless doorbell; he had created the fundamental nocturnal seizure detector.
This was used by Jessica until in 2010, when she was given an up to date, manufacturer version by David. In the short video below Rob Sissons of East Midlands Today was present when we gave Jessica, our first ever user, an upgraded model to replace her original unit. Her Mum relates on how it has saved her life a number of times.
It soon became apparent to us that there was a wider need for this device but David was not happy with using a simple doorbell which could easily fail to ring for such as health critical application. So, he set about designing a failsafe radio technology.
The first commercial products using this failsafe radio were available in 1996 and the product was sold by an agent called Aremco who specialises in supporting Epilepsy and many testimonies were received that confirmed it saved lives and brought peace of mind to the carers.
Our continued effort to supply effective and affordable monitors was amply rewarded in 2003 when one of our alarms was reported to have saved the life of a young boy in Scotland. In what is now a common tale, his seizures were under control with his drug regime, but contrary to medical opinion his parents had the foresight to fit one of our monitors to his bed. The young boy suffered what was considered a potentially health damaging seizure but thanks to the alarm and quick intervention he was safe.
His parents later went on to establish a formidable charity; The Muir Maxwell Trust, to aid in the research of and to support those who have epilepsy. Part of the support was to supply our monitors free of charge to those unable to afford them. We were of course delighted for the recipients, but it also gave our fledging company some security in the years that followed, allowing us to develop new products.
We soon learned that Tonic/Clonic, whilst the most prevalent and serious presentation, did not account for all dangers.
So, by 2000 our bed movement systems were supplemented with imported incontinence detectors to cover not only urine release but excessive salivation and vomiting. They also had the ability to detect breathing based on a baby monitor being supplied to the NHS. At this point we had also added a microphone to detect excessive sound.
It was obvious that there was a need for a major redesign to incorporate all of these features. So, David left his job in a bid to satisfy the current demand by designing two of our most popular monitors; the Companion and the shared development of the Guardian.
By 2009 we rented a small factory unit where we still reside. David, our founder, had the pleasure of seeing a small dedicated team beginning to form. At the same time we embraced the name Alert-iT which represented the focus of the company better than our registered name of iTs Designs.
In 2015 we reached another milestone when we obtained the highly regarded ISO 13485 accreditation, class 1 medical device. Displaying the teams continued ability to work to a high standard, we were able to obtain this accreditation in just 2 months! Not only was this fantastic news for the whole team but for the continued reassurance in all our products for our customers.
Also in 2015 we launched the Companion Mini which is a fully digital design encompassing high-performance sensors. Thanks to this foremost feature the user is free from the tangles of traditional wires and consequently enables you to transport the monitor with ease and is ideal for taking on holiday or for nights away from home.
Over the last few years we have developed a strong partnership with PulseGuard. PulseGuard and Alert-iT share the same values on product reliability and service. It’s these values that will empower us to jointly develop and market unique, ground-breaking health monitoring systems that draw on the specialist skills that both companies have to offer. We have combined our resources to bring some new and highly impressive compatible products to the market have recently launched two amazing epilepsy monitoring products, Pock-iT and PulseGuard.
We’d like you to join us in celebrating the life of our founder David Godfrey and 25 years of innovation and to that end until 21 September 2018 we will be offering a 25% discount on our Companion product. You can purchase online using the discount code 25years or call 01530 239900. Here’s to the next 25 years!