Cardio-focused digital health company Eko has inked a deal with AstraZeneca in order for the two to work together to develop digital health-screening tools.
According to the companies, the pharm giant will be looking to employ Eko’s AI-enabled algorithms in developing early detection tools, as well as to use the tech in clinical trials.
WHY IT MATTERS
Heart disease accounts for roughly one in four deaths in the United States, according to the CDC. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and cigarette use are all risk factors for the disease. The pair are now pitching this partnership as a way to gain more insights into heart health and to detect problems earlier.
“Eko was founded to provide a better way to understand our heart and lung health and to improve cardiopulmonary care for patients through digital technology and novel algorithms,” Connor Landgraf, CEO and cofounder of Eko, said in a statement. “Eko’s collaboration with AstraZeneca will allow us to expand the capability of our technology, generate real-world data, and explore disease management solutions while leveraging AstraZeneca’s global expertise and existing relationships across the treatment continuum for heart failure.”
THE LARGER TREND
Founded in 2013, Eko has been involved with the cardiac space for some time. Most recently it landed an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its ECG low ejection fraction tool, which can be used to help clinicians spot cardiac complications associated with the novel coronavirus.
Its original Eko Core got the FDA greenlight in 2015. The most recent version of the Eko Core was released in 2019. The company has worked on other products as well. In 2018, Steth IO launched its smartphone-based digital stethoscope. In January of 2020 the FDA greenlighted Eko’s heart-murmur AFib algorithm.
Eko has made some deals with other larger players in the field. In October of 2018 it inked a deal with the Mayo Clinic to build a digital stethoscope that detects heart conditions.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has been making moves in the digital space. In May digital respiratory startup Propeller Health landed 510(k) clearance for a sensor app intended to be used with AstraZeneca’s Symbicort inhaler for asthma.
Last year the pharma company launched an initiative called BeyondBio, to help grow Israel’s digital health ecosystem.