Some people may firmly believe that developing mobile medical apps is too risky for patients. But companies like AliveCor in San Francisco is showing that investors don’t share that sentiment when it comes to the future of #mhealth.
The company has developed a small wireless device comprising two electrodes that can snap on the back of an iPhone to deliver clinical quality electrocardiograms. And on Monday, AliveCor announced that it has raised $10.5 million in a series B round, bringing total money raised to $13.5 million.
New investor Khosla Ventures joined existing investor Burrill & Company to lead the funding round. The investment from Khosla Ventures earns the Menlo Park, California venture capital firm a seat on the board, which will be occupied by Michael Kourey, an operating partner.Other investors in the second round of financing were series A investors Qualcomm Ventures and Oklahoma Life Sciences Fund.
“AliveCor’s unique innovation offers the ability to decrease the cost and increase the global availability of advanced cardiac monitoring,” said G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, in a news release. “Heart health remains a huge cost to the healthcare system. Burrill & Company is pleased to be a part of this round and AliveCor’s exciting next stage of development.”
It’s no surprise that Burrill thinks highly of AliveCor. Burrill, who crisscrosses the globe and the nation delivering talks on the future of biotech and healthcare, has imagined a future where spitting on a BlackBerry would yield a variety of information on a person’s vitals. (OK, so he got the smartphone platform wrong.)
The money will be used to launch the product commercially once the device wins regulatory clearance in the U.S. It will also fund other #mhealth applications and services overseas.
AliveCor’s capability, which has been recounted in the media countless times, is perhaps best told by prominent cardiologist Eric Topol, formerly with the Cleveland Clinic. Apparently, Topol used AliveCor’s iPhone Rhythm Strip device to diagnose a man suffering a heart attack on an airplane, which was then forced to land.
And initial results from a new study on 54 patients appears to be promising.
This is a truly disruptive technology, but once it proves its clinical chops to regulators, the commercial success of the company will depend on the executive team’s ability to navigate the siloed healthcare industry. CEO Judy Wade and others have to determine where such a device would make the most impact.