Spry Health raises $5.5M to commercialize wearable for chronically ill patients

By Heather Mack
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Across the consumer wearable landscape, many devices seem to be designed, first and foremost, for those who are already healthy and looking to get healthier. While a growing number of researchers are tapping things like fitness trackers or sophisticated sweat and heart rate monitors for use in clinical studies, the primary audience for many consumer devices remains those who want to take their wellness to the next level.

But Palo Alto-based Spry Health is approaching the opposite end of the market: those who are chronically ill. With a new $5.5 million from a round led by Grove Ventures and Stanford StartXFund, Spry Health is working to commercialize their wearable wristband and remote patient monitoring platform called Loop.

The Loop wristband is intended for the most vulnerable patients, ultimately intended to prevent emergency room visits or hospital readmissions. The device continuously collecting cardiovascular and respiratory data without the need for any input from the users. By streaming the data back to an analytics platform, the idea behind Loop is to watch for the slightest indication of patient deterioration could be detected before more obvious symptoms are noticeable. 

“This round of funding will allow us to reach thousands of more patients with our technology,” Spry Health cofounder Elad Ferber said in a statement. “Our past and current deployments with hundreds of patients allowed us to create an invaluable second-by-second dataset of health. In the last three years, we developed an extensive set of machine learning and expert systems algorithms that helps contextualize real-time, continuous physiological data and pinpoints signs of deterioration. As we reach more patients, we will continue to strengthen our advantage by providing broader monitoring capabilities across more conditions.”

Since Ferber launched Spry Health with fellow Stanford colleague Pierre-Jean Cobut in 2014, the company has worked to clinically validate the Loop system. The team, now 15 employees strong, has evaluated the device and remote monitoring platform on more than 250 participants, measuring it against the gold standards of care for blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation and respiration. The company has already submitted for FDA clearance and hopes to receive the go-ahead by early 2018.

“We are excited about the prospects of transforming healthcare using advanced patient-level vital sign data. We were blown away by Spry’s technology, which is the only solution to demonstrate medicalgrade accuracy in a large-scale human trial,” Guy Resheff, a partner at Grove Ventures who will join Spry’s board of directors, said in a statement. “The Loop is healthcare’s Holy Grail, enabling a continuous medical presence on patients’ wrists to monitor the breadth of vital sign information. As many have noted, data is the new oil. PJ, Elad, and their team of experts in optics, signal processing, and machine learning are extracting and refining the most important data of all. We are proud to have the chance to join them on this journey.”