COVID-19 / Funding / Health tech / Venture capital

This local ER doctor’s healthtech startup just raised $1.7M in seed funding

Plus, three reasons why cardiac arrest prediction will help hospitals through the coronavirus pandemic, per Transformative cofounder and CEO Dr. Josh Oppenheimer.

The Transformative team. (Courtesy photo)

A healthcare company that makes software to predict cardiac arrest and is led by a local doctor has secured $1.7 million in seed funding.

The founders behind four-year-old Transformative are all passionate about the intersection of healthcare and machine learning, and that passion sparked the idea to create a sudden cardiac arrest prediction algorithm, cofounder and CEO Dr. Josh Oppenheimer told, by analyzing data from standard patient monitoring devices in hospitals.

This funding round for Transformative was led by Tera Ventures with participation from Wellcome Trust and InHealth Ventures. The company has an eight-person remote team and operates in the U.S., United Kingdom and Estonia. With this fresh funding, Transformative has raised $2.4 million to date.

The company plans to use the seed funding to obtain clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its flagship product and to begin developing other predictive technologies.

“We are in active conversations with hospitals, patient monitoring device companies and regulators as we work to bring our technology to patients as quickly as possible,” Oppenheimer said. “Over the next year, we aim to establish commercial traction with patient monitoring companies.”

Transformative is also aiming to establish further clarity on exactly what data it will need to submit prior to obtaining FDA clearance, the CEO said.

“This progress will position us to secure Series A funding and accelerate development for our next generation of predictive monitoring products,” he said.

Transformative’s technology can predict sudden cardiac arrest minutes to hours in advance at 94% accuracy, as Jack Lewin, MD, the chairman of the National Coalition on Health Care and an advisor to the company, said in a press release. The company’s team has been working virtually since its founding, with Oppenheimer living in the Arlington, Virginia area — he recently completed his residency in emergency medicine at George Washington University Hospital — and other team members spread across New York and the U.K. Transformative is also currently partnering with George Washington University to plan a validation study.

“We had planned to consolidate our U.S. operations to either D.C. or NYC and setting up an office, but we’ve deferred doing so in the context of COVID-19,” Oppenheimer said. “All of which is a long way of saying that we have very strong ties to the D.C. area, where I will continue to live and lead the company from.”

Through the pandemic, Oppenheimer said the medical industry has shown more interest in the company’s technology, as providing cardiac arrest care for patients with COVID-19 represents a major challenge for hospitals today.

Here are three reasons why cardiac arrest prediction will help hospitals through the coronavirus pandemic, per Oppenheimer:

  1. Early warning will enable healthcare providers to take preventive interventions that may prevent the onset of cardiac arrest for some patients with reversible causes of cardiac arrest, saving lives and decreasing the need for healthcare providers to place themselves at risk. This will help patients with and without Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders in place.
  2. For COVID-19 patients who have not yet decided upon DNR status, early warning before cardiac arrest gives healthcare providers one final opportunity to engage with the healthcare proxies of COVID-19 patients and confirm DNR status.
  3. For COIVD-19 patients who are full-code, early warning provides healthcare providers additional time to don the appropriate personal protective equipment so that they can provide invasive care as safely as possible.

Oppenheimer is a practicing emergency medical physician and in October, he will join the Frederick Health Hospital part-time in the emergency department.

Companies: George Washington University
Series: Coronavirus

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