Berkeley, California-based smart stethoscope company Eko Devices has raised $5 million in new funding. Artis Ventures led the round, with additional participation from Strategic Partners, Dreamlt Ventures, 1812 Ventures, and Founder.org. This brings the company's funding up to $7.8 million — it last raised money in 2015.
Eko Devices received FDA clearance last year for Duo, a smart heart monitor that is a combination of a digital stethoscope and portable electrocardiogram. Duo is intended as a prescription-only screening tool for at-home monitoring plans, working with a companion app for remote monitoring or diagnosis. The idea is to keep continuous tabs on patients at risk for heart failure rather than relying on in-office visits that are inadequate in monitoring such complex medical conditions.
The company's original device, Eko Core, was cleared back in 2015.
"We partner with investors that are passionate about solving meaningful problems; together we can transform the way clinicians and patients monitor heart disease,” Connor Landgraf, Eko's cofounder and CEO, said in a statement. “This investment will enable us to integrate cardiac decision algorithms into our platform to help physicians better track their patients’ cardiac health.”
The company plans to use the new funding to expand its sales team and to fund a clinical study focused on valvular heart disease screenings. The study, which recently received institutional review board approval from the University of California, San Francisco, will be led by UCSF cardiologist Dr. John Chorba.
"Eko and ARTIS Ventures are of likemind in that we both want to tackle the use of technology to improve people’s lives, and for the longest time we’ve relied on the ability for a trained ear to diagnose heart problems,” Vasudev Bailey, partner at ARTIS Ventures, said in a statement. “By elegantly applying machine learning to the largest database of sounds, Eko has made it possible for physicians and consumers to imagine a world where we can quickly and easily diagnose medical conditions. While cardiology is a natural starting place, the solutions have extensions to pulmonology and gastroenterology as well, without forcing a change in patient–physician flow. Their solution easily provides a smarter way to track, and diagnose, medical aberrations.”