Health IT

This heart rate sensor is worn around the ear, connects with an app aimed at reducing stress

zen heart rate sensorA mobile health company in Ireland has raised an $845,000 seed round and partnered with the European accelerator program of PCH International to commercialize a heart rate monitor that clips to the ear.

Zinc Software raised 650,000 Euros in a seed round from Irish investors Kernel Capital, AIB Seed Capital Fund and Enterprise Ireland. And in a new partnership, PCH will help Zinc scale its Zen Sensor System, a wireless biosensor that clips to the back of the ear lobe and transmits heart pulse data to a mobile device. The device uses pulse oximetry, the technology in fingertip sensors used by hospitals.

A suite of accompanying apps focus on guided breathing to help users lower their stress levels, increase focus and improve sleep quality. The company’s LinkedIn page says they’re “based on clinically proven methods and applications ranging from reducing high blood pressure to help in quitting smoking.”

The device will be commercially available in the U.S. and Europe in mid-2013, and will cost $99 — comparable to the Fitbit One.

PCH created the accelerator after working with the sleep-tracking digital health company Lark.

[Photo by Zinc Software]