However, this device revolutionized EEG. Patients could now be recorded as they go about their daily routines at home while maintaining clinical utility for Epilepsy Monitoring Units due to its high-quality capture. This low-cost solution opened up a whole new world in how neurodiagnostics were performed. An epilepsy clinic in Switzerland was among the first to test the device and remarked at the unbelievable lab-quality recordings they now had access to.
“The clinic was answering questions that they haven’t been able to answer before,” Stephen notes. He seems almost still impressed at the revelation, 20 years later. For the device’s weight and size, new things were being discovered that previously were going unnoticed with the lab’s current technology.
“We are a medical company helping people that have a debilitating disease. If we can help them, make their lives easier, make diagnostics quicker and more effective we’ve succeeded,” states Dave.
Stephen nods in agreement. If Dave is the backbone of the company, then Stephen is the face. After creating something they were both proud of, a huge challenge was meeting regulatory requirements, safety requirements for home use, and finally manufacturing at a reasonable cost. Now it was up to Stephen to find people who needed it.
Stephen traveled to America from the United Kingdom to find their first customer abroad. Asked to “guard the only Trackit recorder prototype with his life” by Dave, the suitcase containing it never made its way to the proper luggage carousel. Briefly confronting the idea that the very first Trackit may have been lost, Stephen eventually found it outside. It was about to imminently embark on a trip to a beach in California without its rightful owner. Narrowly avoiding calamity and prototype now in hand, Stephen managed to secure a deal with Nihon Kohden America that marked a milestone in the success and growth of Lifelines Ltd.
It was after this Stephen met an old acquaintance of his at a German Medica medical device conference, Simon Griffin and shared his vision for the product.. Simon went on to found the U.S. distributor, Lifelines Neurodiagnostic Systems, Inc., which became the largest source of sales. You can read more about his story here.
Since those early days, Lifelines Neuro has developed devices for sleep studies, portable EEG systems, recording/review software, and one of the first LED photic stimulation devices to get FDA approval. Both Walters and Hulin were honored to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation from Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 for their Trackit EEG amplifier. The first 20 years of this company were by no means simple, but we’re proud to have the talents of these spirited individuals as we continue to grow.
Here’s to another 20 years (and more) with the hope of improving the world with our technology and services. Both Dave and Stephen are already looking ahead to new challenges as we develop the next generation of our in-home EEG system and expand into new international markets and OEM partnerships.