Innovative Australian health-tech company, KISA, has launched its global operations in the UK with an investment of around £6.1 million, creating 25 new skilled jobs.
KISA is launching accessible mobile phones and services to meet needs of the elderly and people with disabilities. The KISA phone – already available in Australia – is designed to make mobile technology accessible to those who have difficulty using mainstream touchscreen devices.
The phone gives users more independence and provides peace of mind for carers and relatives. It has large tactile buttons displaying clear text or photos, loud audio, and inbuilt GPS tracking in case of emergencies.
Developing an affordable, accessible phone
KISA started life in 2013 as a Melbourne-based technology company founded by three entrepreneurs who were struggling to find a simple mobile phone solution for their family.
They felt that even the simplest mobile phones on the market were too complex for the elderly and vulnerable people to use. The phones assumed users were capable of using digital menus, touchscreen interfaces and audio commands. At the most basic level, all of the phones at the time assumed the user could read text on a small screen.
The KISA phone was the first mobile phone that made mobile technology affordable and accessible to everyone. The phone was designed in conjunction with the community and several major associations including those supporting the disabled and visually impaired.
Today KISA is on its fourth generation of the phone. The company’s broader vision is to make the lives of the elderly, vulnerable, people with disabilities and their carers more independent and easier to manage.
Looking into the future, KISA is working on extending the range of services and devices designed to further its goal of promoting independence and safety of living among the elderly, vulnerable, people with disabilities and their carers.
Focus on global expansion and new product development
The next chapter in KISA’s journey is focused on two main areas – expanding KISA globally and R&D of new services.
To expand its global reach, KISA will launch local mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services in the UK, Europe and North America and establish local distribution and fulfilment for its phones.
To make this expansion possible, KISA has assessed its location options across talent, tax and legal regime, availability of government support and incentives, and the convenience of accessing new markets. The UK scored the best across all variables and, given its close links with Australia, proved to be the right choice.
The second area is new product development. KISA phone and assistive services such as GPS monitoring and reminders are reaching maturity and are ready for deployment in new markets. However, the team has ideas for a range of products and services designed to reduce the burden on the public health system and the NHS while providing care and assistance to vulnerable customers.
‘The UK is a fantastic place to establish a platform for global expansion and innovation,’ says KISA CEO Alexander Millin. ‘Our experience has been extremely positive and we are launching in the UK with full confidence that we’ve made the right decision to move our HQ here.’
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