September 5, 2016

SBI’s domestic startups: QFire Software verifies and aggregates data from multiple devices to help improve the independence of sports and athlete data

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This series showcases the local ventures and technologies that aims to evolve the sports industry in Australia and abroad. It gets the founders, owners and CEO’s to tell us a little about their story and their hopes for success in the sports tech field.

In this profile we spoke to QFire Software.

Please give us your background on how your company was conceived.

“Conceived in 2012, QFire Software was created to collect emergency, viral and infectious disease data in a distributed environment from hospitals.QFire Software (2)

“We are a data quality company; we check that the data you are making decisions on is accurate, reliable and can be trusted. We have a number of customers in this traditional space but we learnt that companies and people only cared about the data quality when they wanted to use it. In the connected world we want to use data the minute it’s captured and so in 2016 we launched Sports Information Analytics and Health Information Analytics as domain focussed implementations of QFire’s underlying technologies.

“The tag line we have chosen ‘Data Quality Solutions for Our Data-Dependent World’ reflects how we see data, as a living organism multiplying at a faster rate than ever before.”

Can you give your best elevator pitch?

“Over 50 percent of Australians monitor their health, exercise or dietary information using a wearable device. 76 percent of UK residents want to share that information with their GP’s. Today we assume it to be correct and accurate, why? When in so many other less critical areas we cross check the information through the web, with friends or through some other source.”

Briefly describe your product.

“QFire’s Sports Information Analytics can provide a device independent data monitoring platform that allows athletes, teams, coaches, and sports performance specialists to have an increased level of trust in the data coming from their devices.

“It allows the verification and aggregation of data from multiple devices to be bought into a single environment for delivery to coaches, managers, or codes. And it provides a platform to deliver alerts, notifications and behavioural prompts on data being received reducing risk and improving awareness of current state.

“Although QFire Sports Information Analytics is only in its early stages it’s a solution that can become better as more population information becomes available to it, better algorithms are added based on increased information being captured and increased connectivity across manufacturers as more devices are connected.

“In the future we will increase this capability with population modelling capability and the addition of a range of custom algorithms based on specific types of information.”

What problems does your product tackle and the solutions that you are trying to solve?

“Problem one is, in the connected world much of the wearable data is only available through the manufacturers servers. For many performance athletes and for some consumers this means that the only source of verification of that data is the manufacturer. QFire can provide that independent verification.

“Problem two, people using multiple devices have to get that data from multiple sources and sometimes it can be conflicting. QFire can deliver that data aggregated across multiple devices to multiple infosumers.

“And problem three is, the market for aggregating data from multiple devices is still emerging and focuses on presentation and not quality. In doing that the assumption is that its correct and can be trusted.”

Have you identified a customer or target market?

“The initial proof of concept was completed using data collected from mCareWatch’s wearable focused on the aged care sector. While completing this we identified a broader opportunity in the wearables sector.

“We see our market broken down into 4 primary groups.

“First the individuals: The ‘connected self’ movement who want to be able to trace, verify and aggregate data from multiple devices for either personal or professional reasons. For professional athletes being able to attribute independent verification improves the financial value of the information held potentially increasing their value.

“Secondly, it is the sporting coaches, codes, institutes and professionals across health industries including specialists, clinicians, aged care, rehabilitation and chronic care facilities. In this space we see the offering being used as an intermediary product reducing risk and increasing speed of response, adding automated prompts for performance enhancement. We also see the benefit of being able to aggregate the information from multiple sources and compare the data feed against a broader population group, for example, a training cohort, team or code level assisting in all these areas.

“Then the manufacturers. Looking for an independent verification mechanism, in the longer term we see the information analytics capability being able to be used to give a manufacturer a benchmark against other vendors and to achieve a level of independent certification on their own products.

“Lastly, technology firms and specialist sports analytic companies. We see these companies using it as an opportunity to extend their own offerings as an embedded capability or service offering. In the early stages we also see these and the manufacturers as the most likely competitors.

How do you intend to scale your business globally?

“QFire with its core technologies has started to build a reseller network globally as we begin to focus on the information analytics area. We are looking for strategic partners both at a distribution level and a funding level that can assist us in increasing our reach. Being accepted to the Sydney Sports Incubator was a strategic target for us to take our generic core technologies and to start to position them in sport and to understand what we didn’t know. The proof of concept with mCareWatch was strategic to ensure our core capabilities could do what was expected.

“Today we are working to identify a strategic sporting partners with the needs and resources that will assist us in extending our reach with projects and credibility whilst at the same time looking for advisory board members and a strategic investor who can assist us in scaling.

“The company has always been virtual with a strong team of international founders. We are working that network to generate the interest and awareness.”

Looking into the future, what do you foresee for your company five years from now?

“At a product level we see the platform extending to allow users to source from a library of algorithm tools to verify different types of data streams, automatic registration of devices through the web and user controlled selection and approval of who should receive their information – captured once and used many times with QFire acting as the information broker. We see the company having partnerships with a number of analytics providers in both sporting and healthcare sectors that have the audience or capability to then deliver that information to the infosumers with enhanced analytics.

“We see the information analytics offerings providing an independent verification platform, that can be used to test and validate wearable data from many different manufacturers or sources and to create a measurable index available to infosumers, manufacturers and interested parties on the performance of their devices. In addition, we see a future benefit in providing anonymised trend, measurement and statistical data available for researchers.”

With thanks to the Sydney Sports Incubator. The SSI is a NSW Government sponsored program whose primary partners are Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA), NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), SportsCamps Australia (SCA) and Lakeba, the technology partner. The SSI reviews and supports sports themed innovation (in software, hardware, nutritional and medical applications) that may have a direct and positive impact within the sports community as a whole from grassroots through to the elite.


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