Celebrating a Lifelines Neuro Founder – Simon Griffin

Simon Griffin at work

Solving problems for the people who use our products so they can better care for patients is a founding principle of Lifelines Neuro. The entrepreneurial spirit that brought together Lifelines Neuro Company in May 2019 goes back more than two decades. This week we’ll be taking a look back at the people and inspiration that brought together the spirited group of innovators who are creating neurodiagnostics without boundaries.

He Quit Cold Turkey

Well not exactly, but it was an entrepreneurial leap of faith by Simon Griffin the week of Thanksgiving 2000 that launched the U.S. distributor of Lifelines EEG products. Working for a well-known neurodiagnostic company and staffing the booth at the massive MEDICA medical device convention in Dusseldorf, Germany, Griffin made the decision to quit his job and become his own boss. Desperately missing his wife and two young sons back in the U.S., with only turkey-flavored potato chips to be found at the convention to substitute for Thanksgiving dinner, it was an easy decision. 

Griffin was born with entrepreneurial blood – his family in Britain ran a grocery shop, a cafe/bakery and perhaps of greatest influence, the Griffin Brothers radio and electrical appliance shop in the 1920s. Using the advertising slogan “The wireless people” it seems appropriate that Griffin ended up founding and running a company that has pioneered the use of wireless EEG technology in the home.

“After making the decision to start my own business, I quickly reconnected with my former colleagues Dave Hulin and Stephen Walters who had started Lifelines Ltd. in the UK,” Griffin recalls. “They had gone out on their own to develop a new, revolutionary Ambulatory EEG system – the Trackit. They asked me if I would be interested in creating a Lifelines presence in the United States, and I jumped at the opportunity.” With the start-up funds coming from putting his home on the line with a loan, Simon and his wife Mary Anne risked everything with this new venture. 

A Griffin Bros. shop

With the love and support of his wife Mary Anne, an EEG technologist, Lifelines Neurodiagnostic Systems, Inc. was founded July 1, 2001. “My commitment was to create a company dedicated to personalized customer service, a culture where our employees felt valued, and a commitment to giving back to support education in the field of neurodiagnostics,” says Griffin. With a focus on differentiating itself by responding quickly and being creative in developing new ideas for product and services, Lifelines became the first provider of EEG amplifiers and systems for the U.S in-home market.  These foundational values underpinned the company at the start and continued to this day at Lifelines Neuro.  

Despite launching a business in the shadow of the tragic events of 9/11, there were some early successes. This included securing business from the Cleveland Clinic and other top hospitals that quickly added to the fledgling company’s reputation and revenues. The entrance of Lifelines into the U.S. market created more access for in-home diagnostics for people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. It helped grow a new business model, EEG service providers, who built provider networks with referrals from neurologists and hospitals who saw the value of in-home EEG for patients. 

Simon Griffin speaking at a conference

True to the goal of releasing products that were game changers, Lifelines introduced its iEEG software in 2013 with Kvikna Medical, the first EEG cloud FDA-approved software, combined with Lifelines hardware. In 2017, Griffin and his wife Mary Anne acquired Lifelines Ltd in the UK and then in 2018 Incereb, an Irish company that developed an innovative neonatal EEG cap, creating a new global company.

With Kvikna exiting the partnership in 2018, Griffin sought a new avenue for EEG software. A round of networking at an ASET conference introduced him to Dave Kennedy of MobileMedTek and their new all-in-one EEG lab in a kit, Rendr. Fast forward to 2019 and a full joint venture was formed, bringing four companies together to form Lifelines Neuro Company under the umbrella of MobileMedTek’s parent company, SIDIS Global. 

“It has not been easy, there have been incredible lows and amazing highs,” Griffin reflects.”The business has had to adapt, deal with some real adversity at times, but has emerged stronger than ever and I am very proud of what we have accomplished.”