Stockholm, Sweden-based Pond Healthcare Innovation, maker of smartphone-connected spirometer Air Smart, has raised $2.1 million (2 million euro) in seed funding from Swedish investment company Spiltan. Using the funding, Pond Healthcare Innovations will build out its team, continue to develop its product, and step up commercialization efforts.
Originally founded in 2014 as a design firm, Pond Healthcare pivoted into medical devices in 2016 after working with Novartis on Air Smart. CEO Lorenzo Consoli came over from Novartis at that point to lead Pond Healthcare.
“While I was at Novartis I worked with Pond Healthcare Innovation to bring to life what today is Air Smart,” Consoli told MobiHealthNews. “It’s a Pond Healthcare Innovation product 100 percent, but I was on the Novartis side to help bring this product to life. Obviously you have the resources of a large company and the agility of a small company and when you put them together it’s pretty powerful.”
Air Smart is a small, portable spirometer with a sleek design. It connects to a smartphone via the audio jack and users can export their data to share with a physician via PDF. Pond Healthcare Innovation offers the product direct to consumers for just 69 euros (about $73), but the company’s strategy is to get physicians to recommend the device to their patients.
“Getting trust from physicians is extremely important,” Consoli said. “Our device is being used by many physicians in Europe and that builds trust. And you know spirometry is not performed very much for many reasons. If you can simplify it, physicians who don’t do spirometry can actually start doing and they discover a lot of things that they weren’t aware of.”
Right now, the company is only selling the device in Europe (it currently has a CE Mark but no FDA clearance). The company sold thousands of units last year in 20 countries.
Consoli says Spiltan was a good match as an investor because Spiltan and Pond are aligned on not just the short term but the long term vision for the company as well, which involves doing more with the data Air Smart collects.
“Spiltan is a perfect match for us, because they are a long-term investor who really understood and married our vision,” Consoli said in a statement. “We want to empower respiratory patients to live a more active life, and the development of Air Smart is the first step to achieve our vision. Whether you have cystic fibrosis, Asthma or COPD, understanding how and why your lung health changes over time is extremely relevant. With Air Smart patients can check their lung health anytime and adjust their medication and lifestyle if needed.”