About Our Business
Breathing air in the vicinity of an infected person can be dangerous, even deadly — that is not new or unique to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before COVID, hospitals and public buildings were required to acknowledge and comply with prescribed conditions for the prevention of infection. There is a heightened awareness today, and with that awareness there is urgency.
Buildings have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to bring fresh air into a building, heat or cool it for comfort, and move it through all the rooms in the building. Every room has fresh air coming in and a method for taking old air out. In large buildings, these HVAC systems can be very complex.
When you have hundreds of interconnected rooms with vents, it can be difficult to figure out where the air is moving. And, without hype or exaggeration, where that air is going could be a matter of life or death. Mapping areas of positive and negative air pressure is a way that HVAC engineers keep track of airflow. Controlling the air is a way to prevent infection and save lives.
Hospitals and commercial buildings were built to meet a series of standards. Along with standards for the direction the air is flowing, there are also standards for the quantity of air that is cycling through a room. Simply put, these standards regulate how often air is changed so building occupants are not breathing each other’s exhales. This design of airflow is critical to hospital safety. Design and compliance are regulated and hospitals must report their designs and pass inspections to confirm that the air is flowing as intended.
While every room in a hospital has a requirement or standard, few are actually tested. Accrediting agencies review the documents of a hospital’s reports and spot-check the facility once every three years, but there is not a requirement to test the entire hospital.
Life Balance Technologies recognizes the problem: Hospitals and other facilities do not test or report infection control conditions for their entire facilities. Life Balance Technologies also provides the solution: An economical, technological and practical software for mapping and reporting infection control conditions.
About Our Founders
Corey Kilpack and Steven Manz initially met in Houston, Texas in 1997. Corey was working as a research analyst for an investment bank and Steve was a financial executive at a publicly traded Offshore Drilling Company. After they went on their way with separate careers, the two paired up again to put their modeling, analysis and auditing experience to work in a critically important industry. Together, they founded Life Balance Technologies and merged their experiences in contracting, modeling and Infection Control.
After leaving Wall Street and banking, Corey returned to the HVAC business and began sub-contracting testing and balancing services for hospitals. Disgruntled with all the reports and systems he was shown, he finally created his own infection control models. He began overlaying his reports onto the Life Safety Maps that are common to every public building. His intent: make this simple. By modeling the air balancing with the Life Safety of the hospital, he was able to create a report that addressed not just the mechanical system, but it also communicated the parameters for infection control.
Along with the pairing of Testing and Balancing with Life Safety, he created an auditing model that tested all the parameters of the national and state standards for each room on the report. Finally, a report was available that met the demanding needs of the building engineers, but was tailored for the Infection Control Officer of the hospital.
Corey’s customer embraced his approach to controlling airborne infection risk and suggested that he expand his services to affiliated hospitals. Corey needed a solution to maintain the accuracy and reliability of his model.
Steve was the Chief Financial Officer at multiple Oilfield Service companies, both large public companies and smaller start-ups. He also spent several years managing a couple of drilling technology companies, and since he studied aerospace and industrial engineering for three years in college, he was much more interested in understanding the technology business than his roles of raising money in Wall Street or filing SEC reports. When the oil and gas industry took a nose-dive, he got serious about understanding the latest trends in data science and artificial intelligence applications, and he actually started learning how to write code.
Steve understood the value of Corey’s approach, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The origins of their business predate the global crisis. They engaged a world-class software developer. Quansight is a data science consulting firm founded by Travis Oliphant, creator of SciPy and NumPy and founder of Anaconda. Quansight is staffed by some of the leading talent in data science including leaders from many open source projects. A primary mission of Quansight is to help companies solve problems with open source, data science software. With Quansight’s deep background in data engineering and analysis and strong knowledge of machine learning, Life Balance felt they had found the right partners to bring their life-saving technology to many more hospitals.
Life Balance Technologies is just getting started. Both Corey and Steve are hopeful that the company will be wildly successful. Their success will not be measured by how much revenue they can generate or the company’s financial net worth; it will be measured by saved lives, reduced absenteeism and reduced maintenance costs.
Corey and Kellee Kilpack live in Petaluma, California. They have 7 children and 5 grandchildren. Corey thrives in the pastures and barns with his vintage Lamborghini tractors and his tool boxes. He has been testing and reporting infection control conditions in hospitals for 13 years.
Steve and Kristen Manz live in the Houston area and they have three children. Steve has been auditing and managing energy companies for too long. He plays golf regularly with one new knee and one old knee. Steve is also active in several local and international ministries and spends a few hours a week in a local yoga studio. Life Balance is the culmination of decades of Steve’s accounting and business management experience.
About Our Future
Life Balance’s SāfAir will allow hospitals and building owners to measure data to help manage airborne risks faster and more efficiently than traditional techniques. Traditionally air balance testing is done manually with handheld instruments, usually annually. There is a lag between the time when an airborne problem arises to the measurement and remediation is completed. Any problems may be the result of circumstances that could have occurred weeks or months before it was detected, which increases the spread of airborne infection. Using our software, we can collect data more efficiently and frequently and we can remediate any problems immediately. This lowers the risk of the spread of infection.
But we are not going to stop the development process here. We are researching new applications that would incorporate our software with other existing data streams, which would allow hospitals or building owners to get real-time feedback and eventually to predict events that would lead to an environment that could lead to airborne infection risk. Life Balance Technologies is not trying to develop new hardware or gadgets; it will be coupling existing technology with our expertise in the airborne infection control to create a planning tool. Our vision is to use our tools to maximize the safety of the people who live and work in large facilities.