Startup Triage Wireless closed their first major round
of outside equity. This is a very interesting company targeting the
ambulatory blood pressure monitoring market. Lead investors in this
round were London based VC 3i and (almost) local firm Sanderling. Both firms specialize in biomedical startups, and both VC firms get seats on Triage Wireless' board.
The product, called the Advance BPM system, provides a platform for
remote patient monitoring using wireless sensors and a gateway.
Monitored parameters include: blood pressure, heart rate, SpO2, ECG
rhythm, and possibly temp. You might notice these parameters extend
beyond traditional ambulatory BP monitoring. According to the press
release, the Advance BPM platform could target three additional market
segments; a low-cost product for cardiac disease management; a 24-hour
ambulatory monitor; and an in-hospital monitor. According to Robert
Murad, Triage Wireless CMO, the product platform might also monitor patients with CHF, sleep apnea, pneumonia and cardiac
Wireless sensor-based monitoring is a pretty hot area right now (here's an example). The company has applied for 16 patents on their
technology. No word on whether they've signed licensing deals with any others holding broad IP in this area, like the Besson patent (scroll down to the bottom of the post). You can read more about Wireless Sensors by clicking the category in the left column.
The product consists of a disposable wireless sensor, a gateway device
(presently a PDA with Bluetooth and a CDMA mobile phone radio),
Qualcomm's QConnect provisioning system and NOC, Sprint's CDMA
wireless wide area network, and web based client apps for the physician
and patient both. The following use case comes from the press release:
- A comfortable patch sensor is worn during a patient's sleep and
day-to-day activities and makes continuous, cuff-less measurements
A mobile device receives data from the sensor and wirelessly sends information to a secure website
The website provides prescribing physicians with comprehensive information for the diagnosis and management of hypertension
The availability of off-the-shelf gateways (i.e., PDAs with both
Bluetooth and CDMA wireless phone), existing reimbursement, and 75
million people with high blood pressure, makes the outpatient remote
monitoring market an attractive first step. Both continuous monitoring
for acute conditions and alarms will be difficult to implement over a
wireless carriers network (dropped connections, dropped packets,
latency, etc.). The cost of running continuous monitoring on a wireless
carrier's network could be prohibitive if there is not a flat rate per
month plan available.
A product targeting hospital inpatients would probably require the
development of a gateway that includes a WiFi radio rather than CDMA, a
new server and client apps. The press release mentions integration with
HIT apps, but does not mention any HL7 interface.
According to serial entrepreneur and CEO Matt Banet, they plan to go to clinical trials in January at Scripps. Distribution is not set, but they're tending towards an indirect distribution channel.