Elektra Labs, a startup looking to curate secured connected health technologies, has announced a $2.9 million in seed funding. Maverick Ventures led the round, which saw contributions from Arkitekt Ventures, Boost VC, Founder Collective, Lux Capital, SV Angel and Village Global. Sixteen angels also took part in the raise, including the heads of high-profile companies such as PillPack, Flatiron Health, National Vision, Shippo, Revel and Verge Genomics, according to the announcement.
WHAT THEY DO
With more connected health monitoring products being released from a range of vendors big and small, it’s no small task for pharmas, providers, biotechs and researchers to vet the capabilities of each and every device.
"The increase in FDA clearances for digital health products coupled with heavy investment in technology has led to accelerated adoption of connected tools in both clinical trials and routine care. However, this adoption has not come without controversy,” Andy Coravos, cofounder and CEO of Elektra Labs, said in a statement.
"During my time as an Entrepreneur in Residence in the FDA's Digital Health Unit, it became clear to me that similar to pharmacies which review, prepare, and dispense drug components, our healthcare system needs infrastructure to review, prepare, and dispense connected technologies components. Questions around the security, accuracy and bias in the data from wearables have made researchers and developers confront the complexity of bringing these technologies to market. At Elektra, we set out to build that pharmacy-like infrastructure, and we're excited to be supported by a seed round to help us get there.”
To this point, the startup paired their funding news with the unveiling of Atlas, its catalogue-like digital platform that Elektra says it interviewed more than 300 digital clinical trial stakeholders to design.
Along with listing cost, tracking features, battery length, regulatory status and other details for more than 700 devices (as of this writing), users can find connected devices that fit their needs using a range of filters built into the tool. In addition, Elektra says that it’s incorporated data from more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, registered clinical trials and regulatory decisions to generate gradings on a device’s validation, usability, security and data governance.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The startup said in its announcement that the seed funding will help “improve infrastructure for the efficient and responsible deployment of wearables and connected biosensors.”
Validation has been something of a sticking point for digital health, and is often cited as a barrier for providers and other organizations that are interested in deploying these technologies.
For digital health software, several companies have banded together to form organizations promoting consistent, data-driven standards for their products, while the FDA itself is exploring new regulatory pathways to keep up with the ever-changing nature of digital health products. And on the hardware side Elektra Labs is planning to tackle, Current Health recently shared with MobiHealthNews plans to partner with reputable device makers and construct a flexible, curated ecosystem of remote monitoring products.
ON THE RECORD
"At Maverick, we're always searching for disruptive brands who find ways to make the world easier; Andy and her team blew us away with their vision to build tools that allow researchers and clinicians to perform at the top of their game," Ambar Bhattacharyya, managing director at Maverick Ventures, said in a statement. "As accelerated adoption of consumer health technology increases, developers have had to face complex issues around accuracy and bias that stems from the collected data. We look forward to seeing Elektra Labs exercise their strengths in improving access to care."