If you watched NBC’s Rock Center a couple of weeks ago, you might have noticed a segment featuring Dr. Eric Topol, a longtime cardiologist, author of “The Creative Destruction of Medicine” and one of the leading voices in digital medicine.
In the segment, he showed off a futuristic flip-phone-sized touchscreen device, worn on the wrist, that helps doctors keep tabs on their patients from afar. The device, called the VisiMobile monitor, tracks a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and other indicators, and lets doctors check in from wherever they might be via PC, tablet or smartphone.
On Wednesday, Sotera Wireless, the San Diego-based company behind the VisiMobile technology, announced that it had raised an additional $14.8 million. The company, which changed its name from Triage Wireless in 2009, last year won FDA clearance for its VisiMobile technology. In addition to the wrist monitor, the system includes sensors for the chest and thumb and a blood cuff monitor. It can connect to a hospital’s existing infrastructure via secure Wi-Fi to let doctors and nurses keep closer tabs on more patients within a hospital or it can be used to let doctors monitor recently discharged patients.
As health providers prepare to give care to more patients and as hospitals face more pressure to lower readmission rates, systems like this, as well as other tele-health technology, could become increasingly valuable.
In a statement, Sotera Wireless CEO Tom Watlington, said the new funding would go towards commercialization, clinical development and making the technology available to more than 5,000 hospitals across the country. Safeguard Scientifics, a holding company that provides capital and support to health care and technology companies, said it contributed $1.33 million. Other investors included new funder Delphi Ventures, as well as existing funders Sanderling Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, EDBI, Intel Capital, Cerner Capital and West Health Investment Fund.
You can see a video of Dr. Topol talking about the technology on Rock Center below: