Omron, Mayo Clinic invest US$30 million in AliveCor for stroke prevention

Mon Mar 20, 2017 - 4:32am UTC
Omron, Mayo Clinic invest US$30 million in AliveCor for stroke prevention
Kardia Pro app for clinicians from AliveCor

AliveCor – a U.S. medical startup that sells a smartphone-enabled electrocardiogram (ECG) system has recently completed its Series D investment, bringing in US$30 million in funds to speed up innovation in heart health and to grow the business.

This latest fundraising round came as an announcement last Friday and was led by Japanese medical device maker Omron Healthcare and Mayo Clinic.

On the very same day, the medical startup has also introduced the company’s first big entree into the professional market – a new AI platform known as Kardia Pro.

The application is intended for clinical use and aims to help medical professionals monitor patients for signs of atrial fibrillation, a common risk factor for strokes. The device measures this by tracking the patients’ blood pressure and ECG readings over a period of time.

“It just gives the doctors an early indication that something might be changing and that they should take a deeper look,” Biehn said.

Kardio Pro pairs with the Kardia Mobile smartphone ECG system that AliveCor sells directly to consumers. Kardia Mobile — formerly known as iPhone ECG and AliveECG — was the smartphone-based heart monitor to have received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Although the Kardia Pro app is designed for clinical-facing, but ultimately its goal is to use AI to analyse the patients’ data (such as weight, activity, and blood pressure, etc.) to personalize the heart profiles of each patient.

Besides, Kardia Mobile users take an average of 21 readings per month, which is far more frequent than the average patient who would only take their ECG readings during a doctor visit. If coupled with Omron personal medical devices, the application is also able to feed vital signs from patients at home to their physicians.

“They provide the plumbing technology with the blood pressure and we provide the electrical technology with the electrocardiogram,” Biehm comments in regards to Omron.

As a whole, Omron aims to use its investment to develop new products by combining AliveCor’s heart rate monitors with its own blood pressure devices. The duo will jointly develop a blood pressure-heart rate monitor as well as services to prevent heart disease. While Omron will also use its network to expand sales of AliveCor products in Europe and elsewhere.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 795,000 people suffer from stroke each year with a majority of them experiencing it for the first time. If one is to factor in hospitalization, medications and time off of work, strokes cost the U.S. roughly US$33 billion each year, which makes Kardia Pro a hopeful solution to prevent stroke.

By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork

This news is published on Reuters.

Vivian Foo is a reporter who writes about Southeast Asia’s technology and startup space. The entry point which led her to write about the startup ecosystem was her fascination of the dot-com boom. She is taking a deep dive into how the entrepreneurial mindset works and hopes to share the insights, innovation, and stories of the startups with her readers.