Strados Labs — makers of a non-invasive respiratory smart system — has closed in on nearly $2 million in early-stage venture capital, with sights set on quick expansion.
The three-year-old, Old City-based healthcare startup, which also has a team in Atlanta and was named a runner-up on the 2019 realLIST, plans to double its five-person team by the end of June with the goal of recruiting more hardware developers who are experienced in medical device technology.
Strados CEO and cofounder Nick Delmonico said he remembered the countless trips he took as a kid to the school nurse’s office due to his severe asthma as inspiration for the company: He was born nine weeks prematurely and contracted a respiratory virus that led to him being hospitalized for several weeks after he was born. As a result, Delmonico struggled through respiratory issues that landed him in and out of many nurse’s offices and emergency rooms for most of his childhood.
Today, the MBA graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management said he’s looking to provide a low-cost way for clinicians to remotely monitor a patient’s respiratory performance with a wearable stethoscope-like biosensor device that “computerizes” lung sounds; it’s been described by pulmonologists as the “Holter monitor of the lungs,” he said. Data is sent directly to a cloud that is then available for the doctor to view.
“We’ve seen so much happen in the cardiology space and the diabetes space with continuous ECG monitors and glucose monitors. I wanted to bring something similar to the respiratory world,” Delmonico told Technical.ly. “The research dates back to the 1980s but no one created a system that would computerize lung sounds on a remote basis with a low-cost sensor that can be worn for [long] periods of time.”
The company has already been hard at work testing the product and algorithm system on more than 50 adult patients across the country who enter emergency rooms with COPD and asthma exacerbations. The Strados system has proved to be more than 90% accurate in monitoring wheezing, coughing and normal breathing patterns, Delmonico said.
A recent $1.3 million funding raise comes courtesy of lead investor SOSV, a New Jersey-based venture capital and investment management firm, as well as Houston-based Cathexis Ventures and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Strados also converted $500,000 in prior funding to total $1.8 million in capital raised to date, per a press release, with a goal of raising an additional $500,000.
“Respiratory health is a serious health challenge which has not seen any significant innovation for years,” wrote Duncan Turner, general partner at SOSV, in an email. “Gaining insight into early attacks could help save lives and reduce this traumatic experience for two vulnerable demographics, children and the elderly. Strados has developed a truly revolutionary technology which aims to prevent problems of false positives, whilst also addressing the biggest issue of all, ensuring 24/7 safety due to its wearable form.
“We were so impressed with the team’s background and vision which (when set in this opportunity to provide safety to those most at risk) compelled us to be a part of their journey as investor and mentor,” he said.
Delmonico said the next steps for the Strados monitoring system, which is currently not available for sale, is getting approval on the FDA 510(k) clearance, with an aim to submit in November. The goal, Delmonico added, is for the product to launch on a global scale in the first quarter of 2020.
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