A cardiology grade stethoscope for non-invasive testing of heart failure in patients where the resultant waveform generated by the device can be stored, analyzed, and shared with physicians.
Fremont, CA: Eko Devices has raised $20 million in a Series B funding in the cardiac care field for a device performing the functions of both stethoscope and ECG device, which is powered by machine learning algorithms to enable early diagnosis of heart problems. These algorithms are being reviewed by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, said Connor Landgraf, CEO of Eko, in a press release.
The low-cost machine learning tool will be relatively easy for clinicians to use and is one of the very first non-invasive applications. The device can be used on a day to day basis. The algorithms are framed in a way that can work in conjunction with the company’s software and digital devices. The first digital stethoscope, the Core Stethoscope, and the Duo, integrating rich amplified sound with ECG, the device Duo enables clinicians to get a comprehensive view of cardiovascular function at an affordable, time-consuming work-up. It can be used both in-home and clinical settings. The software and devices are already in use by tens of thousands of clinicians in the U.S. and Europe, and it can be bought from the company’s website.
Some other companies, including San Francisco-based Qardio and Australia-based M3DICINE, are developing heart-monitoring software and hardware along with artificial intelligence applications to go along with them. Eko‘s devices and algorithms enable them to parse both electric signals and the sounds of blood flow that would set the company ahead of the competitors, particularly in clinical usage. Also, the data from Eko reaches the physicians who can modify the treatment plans in response.
The company is also expanding its investment in clinical research with academic partners like the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Both Mayo and Eko are collaborating on an algorithm that would screen patients for low ejection fraction, which is a sign of a weak heart pump. This is primarily focused on early identification of the condition, a risk factor for heart failure. Further, Eko has been working with Northwestern Medicine’s Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute in Chicago for using the company’s technology to screen for valvular heart disease.