Femtech company Bloomer raised $3 million in seed-round funding for its bra-like ECG tech. The latest round was led by Material Impact with participation from One Brave Idea and several angel investors.
WHAT THEY DO
The MIT-spinoff is putting electrocardiogram sensors and machine learning algorithms into the fabric of a bra. The tech is able to track a woman’s health data over time. In addition to the ECG, users can view pulse rates, respiratory rates and heart rhythms. Women using the device can view heart health trends from their phone, tablet or desktop computer. The bra will be washable and flexible.
Alicia Chong, the company’s CEO, said that this would also be a way to get more data on a historically unrepresented group.
“As women in STEM, we are keenly aware that digital health and AI tools are tuned to the people who are represented in the datasets. So when we realized that women have been woefully underrepresented in clinical research, especially in cardiovascular diseases, we had to take action,” Chong said in a statement. “At Bloomer we are eliminating healthcare imbalances by replacing an uncomfortable piece of plastic with a beautiful piece of clothing that empowers women to feel sexy instead of sick. This seamless and comfortable monitoring experience prevents algorithm biases and unlocks new, sex-specific digital biomarkers that can more accurately provide personalized care for patients.”
Currently the tech is still in the testing phase. The company noted that it has paid pilots in the works this year.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The company plans to put the new funds towards supporting its pilots and increasing its clinical data. It will also use the funds to develop commercial products and the user experience.
ECG tech is increasingly finding its way into the hands of consumers. In 2018, Apple made waves when it announced that its Series 4 watch would have an ECG feature that was cleared by the FDA. Fitbit and Withings have announced their plans to follow suit. Bloomer’s pitch is slightly different because it is positioning itself as a clinical-grade device that is aimed specifically at women.
The Femtech market is also growing. In fact, according to a new market report by Research2Guidance, there are now more than 3,000 app-based women’s health products on the market. However, overall the market has leaned heavily towards fertility and pregnancy products.
ON THE RECORD
“Thrive Global’s mission is to end the stress and burnout epidemic with sustainable, science-based solutions that unlock human potential and enhance well-being,” Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global and advisor to Bloomer, said in a statement. “Bloomer is arming women with the tools they need to take their heart health into their own hands. It’s when we can understand how our lifestyle choices impact our health outcomes that we truly have the power to change our lives for the better.”