British Columbia Company Makes Wireless Connections in Asia
With help from British Columbia’s trade and investment network, and a lot of air miles logged, Vancouver-based ReFleX Wireless, has found new partners in Japan to help the company expand its wireless sensor and analytic software business into the Asian health care market.
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Founded in 2011, ReFlex began as an academic research project by a team of University of British Columbia engineering students to create a wireless multi-patient monitoring system for use in hospital wards. The word ‘ReFleX’ was coined by the research team’s computer engineer and company co-founder, Carol Lee, to reflect the team’s desire to create an automated patient monitoring system that could act without thinking.
ReFlex has successfully deployed its array of analytic software and wireless healthcare solutions including sleep monitoring, diabetes management, senior home care and remote patient monitoring services in North America. The company has already received wide recognition for its application of ICT technology in the healthcare sector, including winning the prestigious NYC Next Idea Competition, where it was awarded a cash prize and office space in New York City from which to launch its business in the United States.
A little further from home, demand for remote patient monitoring solutions has been growing rapidly in Asia. To gain an early-mover advantage and capture the business opportunities arising in that region, ReFleX needed to quickly establish local credibility, form strategic partnerships with local organizations, and develop suitable business models for local customers.
With his sights set on the traditionally difficult-to-penetrate Japanese market, where it can take years to establish working business relationships, ReFleX co-founder and company president Andy Tsai turned to the Province’s trade and investment network for assistance. Staff in the Ministry of International Trade offices in Vancouverand in the Province’s Trade and Investment Representative office in Tokyohelped the company with business introductions andmarket intelligence. Staff also arranged introductions to municipal government representatives to help Tsai and his partners learn about local ICT-Healthcare tax incentives and implementation strategies, and how to navigate Japan’s business culture.ReFleX was also able to join other B.C. ICT/wireless companies in the Province’s booth at key sector events in Asia, including Wireless Japan and Communicasia in Singapore, providing more opportunities to make critical face-to-face connections with potential partners in the Asia Pacific Region.
Ongoing support from the Province’s office in Tokyo along with a commitment to making frequent trips to Japan have laid the foundation for success for ReFleX in Japan’s challenging market. The company has established multiple business partnerships and now offers its wireless monitoring solution to the senior homecare sector in Japan via a new Japanese partner, Cedar Corporation, as well as providing research and development services to Technos Japan for augmenting that company’s existing senior citizen monitoring solution with wireless connectivity.
ReFleX’s business is taking off elsewhere in Asia as well. The company was recently invited to demonstrate its remote elderly monitoring solution to various government departments of Singapore.
British Columbia offers assistance to export-ready firms through local support and our network of international Trade and Investment Representatives based in China, Japan, Korea, India, Europe and the United States. Whether you want to invest in British Columbia, purchase the services or products we offer, or bring British Columbia business to the international market, contactour team for assistance.