Cuffless blood pressure device startup nets $5.9M

By: Brian Dolan | Feb 16, 2012        

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Sense A/SDenmark-based medical device company Sense A/S just announced a €4.5 million ($5.9 million) round of funding from venture fund SEED Capital and Vaekstfonden to help it refine its cuffless blood pressure measurement device. The company expects to secure FDA 510(K) clearance for the device and have it launch commercially next year. (Last year SEED invested $2.3 million in another Danish startup, fitness app developer Endomondo.)

Sense A/S argues that measuring blood pressure at a physicians’ office via the cuff method is not the most efficient or effective way. “This solution has a number of challenges including discomfort with the measurement itself and nervousness during the consultation which both may contribute to erroneous measurements,” the company explained in a statement. “In addition, the realization is that a variety of cardiovascular diseases can be diagnosed much better by measuring blood pressure over a standard 24-hour circadian rhythm, and for this the cuff method is not very suitable.”

The Sense A/S device continuously measures the wearer’s blood pressure every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day and night. The company says the wearer doesn’t even notice that the device is taking the measurements. The sense A/S device, called ContiPress, includes an intelligent patch that the physician or nurse places on the patient’s upper arm. The device stores the blood pressure data for analysis later. While the current iteration of the device does not include wireless connectivity, it seems to be an obvious next step.

Another company, Sotera Wireless, is developing a wireless-enabled remote vital signs monitor called ViSi Mobile that also includes a cuffless blood pressure device.

Check out the MedGadget report here.
For more on the ContiPress device from Sense A/S, read the press release below:

PRESS RELEASE: The Danish company Sense A/S just raised € 4.5 million for their groundbreaking medical technology for blood pressure measurement. The technology works seamlessly and will remedy incorrect diagnostics of hypertension at the physicians’ offices, which themselves can cause elevated readings. The total investment from venture fund SEED Capital and Vækstfonden will be used to refine the product and for commercial launch in 2013.

High blood pressure affects more than ¼ of the Western world population and it is estimated that up to 12% of all deaths can be linked to this disorder. Hypertension is therefore one of the world’s largest disease areas and the most important factor in the treatment of this is an accurate diagnosis. Current diagnostic solution of choice is the measurement of blood pressure at the physicians’ offices, and typically using the cuff method. However this solution has a number of challenges including discomfort with the measurement itself and nervousness during the consultation which both may contribute to erroneous measurements. In addition, the realization is that a variety of cardiovascular diseases can be diagnosed much better by measuring blood pressure over a standard 24-hour circadian rhythm, and for this the cuff method is not very suitable.

The Danish company Sense A/S develops ContiPress™, which continuously measures the patient’s blood pressure 24 hours a day, down to every 10 second day and night, without the user noticing. ContiPress™ consists of an intelligent patch, which the doctor or nurse places on the patient’s upper arm. From there, the unit monitors the patient’s blood pressure over 24 hours and stores the data for subsequent analysis via an enclosed piece of software. The result is comprehensive data about the patient’s blood pressure over 24 hours and thus an optimal basis for making the correct diagnosis.

Sense has raised € 4.5 million in an investment round with venture fund SEED Capital and Vækstfonden. It is the company third round, since it was founded in 2006 in connection with an investment from SEED Capital. Second round of investment came from SEED Capital and Vækstfonden in 2010. ContiPress™ is currently a prototype that has been clinically tested on people with very large differences in both blood pressure, BMI (body mass index) and age with promising results that verify the measurement principle. The investment round will be used to refine the device and try ContiPress™ in a more extensive clinical testing within the expected commercial launch.