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At-home testing for sleep apnea draws $32.2M from investors in Florida device company

10:31 am by | 0 Comments

insomnia, sleeplessness, sleep study

A medical device company hoping to move sleep apnea testing out of expensive and uncomfortable labs and into the realm of primary care has gotten a boost from at least 20 investors.

Watermark Medical Inc., which recently merged with sleep diagnostics provider SleepMed, has raised $32.2 million since March, according to a SEC filing. An email to the company was not returned.

The company manufactures an at-home headset, called ARES, that uses sensors to measure oxygen saturation, pulse, head movement and head position. When that data is combined with responses to questions about a patient’s body type and lifestyle, it could give doctors an indication of the patient’s risk of sleep apnea.

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The chronic condition is characterized by obstruction of the upper airway, which causes pauses in breathing during sleep. When left untreated, it’s been linked to high blood pressure, stroke and heart problems.

According to Watermark, its device has been tested in 100,000 patients since 2010.

As insurers are changing the way they reimburse for sleep apnea testing, the industry has seen a push toward at-home testing for some patients. Cleveland Medical Devices, Itamar Medical and NovaSom are among other companies developing or marketing in-home tests. Simultaneously, the market for sleep apnea treatments is growing and become increasingly competitive.

Watermark was founded in Boca Raton, Florida, in 2008. Previous investors include Ballast Point Ventures, although it’s not known whether the firm participated in the most recent funding.

[Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici]

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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