Cuff-less blood pressure monitor company Aktiia scored $6.1 million (CHF 6 million Swiss francs) in its second funding round.
Redalpline led the funding round with participation from Translink Capital, Investiere, Libra, Christian Wenger, Spark Street Capital and Barbaric Holdings.
The Swiss company previously raised $4.1 million (CHF 4 million) in a 2018 seed round.
WHAT IT DOES
The company has built a continuous-blood-pressure-monitoring bracelet that is equipped with an optical sensor and a software algorithm that measures an individual's blood pressure. Users will also have access to a corresponding app that lets users track their trends and the difference between night and day. The company said that the bracelet's charge lasts for a month.
"Aktiia will enable patients and their doctors to have 24/7 blood pressure, day and night, over long periods of time without interrupting the patient's daily life," Josep Solà, cofounder and CTO, wrote in an email to MobiHealthNews. "Nighttime blood pressure measurements are extremely helpful in diagnosis and management of hypertension, but they are very difficult to get currently without waking up the patient by inflating a cuff, which by itself confounds the measurement."
The company has submitted to the FDA and is waiting for clearance in order to go to market.
WHAT IS IT FOR?
The company said the new funds will help it bring the product to market. Currently, the strategy is to bring the tech directly to the end user.
"Initially, we will be selling to the patient directly, after prescription from their physician," Mattia Bertschi, cofounder and CEO, said in an email to MobiHealthNews. "There are a lot of opportunities for future expansion to payers, providers, and others, but we wanted to start with the most direct and straightforward option for patients, while still keeping their physicians in the loop."
Perhaps its main competitor in the space is Israeli company Biobeat, which landed 510(k) clearance for its remote-monitoring device that is able to measure the wearer's blood pressure, oxygenation and heart rate. The company uses a photoplethysmography approach.
Another mover in the blood-pressure-monitoring space is Sentinel Healthcare, which closed a $2 million round last year to continue work on its connected blood pressure cuff.
ON THE RECORD
"Currently the only way to get 24/7 blood pressure is through ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), which involves a cuff inflating every 20-30 minutes over a 24- or 48-hour period," Solà said. "However, this period may not be representative of a normal day in the life of the patient. Aktiia will now be able to get the same data over days, weeks, months, and even years without interrupting the patient's daily life. This data will be presented to doctors in a standard ABPM report format that they are familiar with so it does not create extra burden for analysis. This is a unique and extremely valuable dataset for patients and their providers to really understand and manage their health in an individualized way."