Every week we take a look at biggest developments, research, and investment news from the world of Health Tech in the past 7 days. This week, one healthcare startup totals it’s funding to an incredible $130m, two more health tech firms bag $25m, and tech giant Microsoft speaks of its plans to transform healthcare using tech.
Chicago-based Tempus has closed a $70 million Series C round, bringing the start-up’s total funding to $130 million. The biotechnology company is building a database of clinical and molecular information in order to make it accessible and useful to researchers and physicians, and the patients they treat. The company has created data pipelines which collect and analyze large amounts of data, which then powers software applications that assist with clinical decision support and academic research. They will use the recent funds to grow its database, particularly as it has collaborations with systems such as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and University of Chicago Medicine, as well as its own CLIA-certified lab, which has a current capacity of more than 50,000 patients annually.
Toronto-based Analytics 4 Life has recently finished a $25 million investment round to advance its AI cardiac imaging technology. The software is currently being tested with the aim of helping physicians assess the presence of coronary artery disease using intrinsic signals scanned from the body, but without radiation, contrast agents or cardiac stress. Analytics4Life said the funding will help them develop the diagnostic tools of their cleverly designed mathematics-and-physics-based cloud computed AI software, which will be less risky than the current diagnostic methods.
As part of plans to use its artificial intelligence software to enter the health market, Microsoft is setting up a new healthcare department at its Cambridge research facility. The infamous computing giant has created the facility as part of its commitment to “transform healthcare” using technology. Through machine learning and cloud computing, its research plans to develop monitoring systems that can help keep patients out of hospitals and alert them in about oncoming health problems.
Known for the PatientTouch workflow-optimizing platform, PatientSafe Solutions has secured $25 million in its latest round of funding. PatientTouch is a mobile-friendly platform that consolidates EHR data, communications, clinical workflows, alerts, and customizable care interventions within one app, and plans to use the $25 million to boost the scale of their operations, increase sales, and explore new options within clinical communications. “The success of PatientSafe highlights the value… of improving clinician satisfaction, care team productivity, and patient safety in the post-[EHR] era,” a lead funder commented.
London-based PureTech Health is developing voice recognition apps that can diagnose illnesses like Parkinson’s disease and depression just from the sound of your voice. The company has recently won a patent in the US for the technology and will now look to sign up patients to clinical trials and fine-tune the product. Jim Harper, lead scientist on the programme at PureTech notes that, “It sounds like science fiction but it’s not. We can enable more and more of these devices to provide health monitoring”.
Following the trend of wearable health accessories, a bamboo pendant has been developed that aims to improve your health in new ways that go far beyond trackers like Fitbit. Opter Life is part of the new “empathy tech” trend which aims at well-being, through stress reduction, meditation and breathing. The necklace gently vibrates every time its user starts to hunch over, teaching them to learn better posture as is said to affect both physical and mental health.
Amongst 7 others, Apple and Fitbit will help shape the Food and Drug Administration’s innovative approach to digital health regulation through a new pilot program. The FDA announced this program earlier this year as part of the agency’s broader Digital Health Innovation Action Plan to streamline the regulatory process for companies that develop and test quality products. The agency plans to “deepen its understanding” of how these technologies operate to reduce the time and cost it takes to get innovative products to market.
Chicago-based Tempus has closed a $70 million Series C round co-led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Revolution Growth. The biotechnology company is building a database of clinical and molecular information and making it accessible and useful to researchers, physicians and the patients they treat. Tempus will use the funds to grow its database and achieve greater scale, a company spokesperson said. The money brings the startup’s total funding to $130 million.