Health Tech

Sibel Health scores $33M to scale wearable-based RPM platform

Medical technology startup Sibel Health recently closed a $33 million Series B funding round. It will use the funds to grow the company and scale commercialization of its Anne One platform, which captures users’ vital signs using wearable sensors.

Medical technology startup Sibel Health recently garnered new funds to help achieve its mission of making health data more useful by developing wearable monitors for the entire clinical care continuum. 

Sibel recently closed a $33 million Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to date to more than $50 million. The round was led by the Steele Foundation for Hope, a nonprofit that says it is focused on funding technology to heal “humanity’s hardest challenges.”

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

The startup was founded in 2018 as a spinout of the Querrey Simpson Institute for Bioelectronics at Northwestern University and the John Rogers Research Group with an initial grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It has headquarters in the Chicago area with offices in San Diego and Seoul.

While Sibel’s wearable sensor technologies now have applicability across the entire spectrum of patient care, the company started with a focus on premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit, according to CEO Steve Xu. That’s how the startup got its name, which is derived from Cybele, an Anatolian mother goddess. Xu said it speaks to the company’s “unique commitment to maternal, neonatal and pediatric monitoring worldwide.”

Sibel’s core expertise is in the development of wearable sensors that maximize user comfort and ensure skin safety. Xu, who is a dermatologist, said that comfort comes first because “monitoring systems don’t work in patients who won’t wear them.” 

The startup also prioritized user-friendliness when designing the software and mobile interfaces for Anne One, its FDA-cleared wearable remote vital monitoring platform. Using wearable sensors, Anne One captures users’ vital signs, including skin and body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, step count and body position. The platform is focused on producing accurate data that can be more useful for clinicians’ and patients’ treatment decisions, according to Xu.

“Right now, health data still remains so untapped in the potential to benefit patients,” he said. “It is fragmented, episodic, reactive and not predictive.”

Along with selling its technology directly to providers, Sibel also pursues partnerships with other companies to accelerate market access and reach a wider customer base of providers. For example, the startup has a partnership with medical device company Dräger to speed access for Sibel’s technology across hospital and home markets.

As for Sibel’s reimbursement path, Xu declared the startup’s technology transcends “narrow and fragmented use cases that are defined by a single CPT code.” He said the startup has opportunities to be reimbursed for both at-home remote patient monitoring and diagnostic tests related to cardiovascular health or sleep medicine. 

Xu acknowledged that there are plenty of other companies working to produce health data from wearables to inform treatment decisions, such as Vivalink and Oxehealth. But he said Sibel differentiates itself by focusing on the patient experience, which centers on patients having ownership of their data from the moment the adhesive that touches their skin to the final display a nurse or physician sees. 

The company will use the money it received from its Series B round to grow its team, develop new products and scale commercialization for its Anne One platform.

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