This morning Altoida, a digital platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help predict Alzheimer’s disease, closed a $6.3 million Series A funding round. M Ventures led the round with participation from Grey Sky Venture Partners, VI Partners AGG, Alpana Ventures and FYRFLY Ventures.
WHAT THEY DO
Altoida makes a digital platform that employs AI, ML and augmented reality to “collect functional and cognitive biomarkers to help detect Alzheimer’s disease.” The product, which has both an FDA clearance and a CE mark, is meant to detect cognitive decline early on.
Patients can use an iPad or other tablet to take the “gamified assessment” at home or at a doctor’s office. The patient’s test results are then sent to their provider.
“Our software or app is designed to be used by a wide range of healthcare professionals, from primary care physicians to neurologists to insurance companies, in order to make early detection accessible to more people around the world with the goal of significantly delaying the onset of [mild cognitive impairment] due to [Alzheimer's disease] — and resulting in an overall cost reduction,” Dr. Richard Fischer, founder and CEO at Altoida, said in a statement.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The new influx of cash will be put towards commercializing the product in the US and European markets.
WHAT’S THE TREND
With an aging population in the US and beyond, several startups have set their sights on Alzheimer’s detection.
One of those companies is Optina Diagnostics, a Montreal-based company that uses spectral retinal imaging and AI to scan for early Alzheimer’s disease. The company raised $4 million in seed funding in October.
Others are working on therapies for the disease. For example, Dthera Sciences, a San Diego-based developer of clinical and consumer digital therapeutics for individuals with neurodegenerative conditions, announced in August that its development stage intervention, DTHR-ALZ, had been granted Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA.
ON THE RECORD
“Searching for early, more accurate and scalable preclinical markers of Alzheimer’s disease has been the holy grail for clinicians, researchers and pharma companies alike that are trying to predict Alzheimer’s-type cognitive decline and develop early interventions,” Dr. Ioannis Tarnanas, founder and chief scientific officer at Altoida, said in a statement. “The ability of Altoida’s digital biomarkers platform to collect very sensitive & ecologically valid markers of early functional and cognitive changes in the most scalable way, by using only a mobile phone or tablet, is unmatched by today’s medical tests and a game changer for the field.”