Heart-health-focused startup Eko is launching a new version of its Eko app, which uses an AI algorithm to help detect heart disease. This news coincides with a $30 million Series C extension round to fuel commercialization and product development efforts, according to TechCrunch.
The new app can be paired with one of Eko’s smart stethoscopes and is equipped with an AI software algorithm, which was FDA-cleared in 2020. The algorithm was designed to detect heart murmurs and atrial fibrillation. Users can tap into the app for a report and to share their information. The new app is now able to go into cardiac-exam mode and spot-check mode.
Users can also get tips about stethoscope placements. According to Eko, its AI algorithm for heart-murmur detection has a 87.5% sensitivity and 87.8% specificity. The company’s atrial-fibrillation-detection system demonstrated a 98.9% sensitivity and a 96.9% specificity.
WHY IT MATTERS
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. According to the CDC, heart disease accounts for 696,962 deaths per year. Eko is pitching its digital system as a way to help patients catch heart disease in their home sooner.
“Frontline healthcare professionals are our best line of defense in catching cardiovascular disease early on, but they are challenged to do so by outdated tools, insufficient time and inadequate resources,” Connor Landgraf, CEO and cofounder of Eko, said in a statement. “With a disease that is so pervasive in our society, it is imperative that we provide every healthcare professional with a solution that helps them diagnose with more confidence and give their patients the best care possible. This is how we’ll save millions of lives in the coming years.”
THE LARGER TREND
In 2020, Eko scored FDA 510(k) clearance for its atrial-fibrillation- and heart-murmur-detection algorithm. Months later, the company scored an FDA emergency-use authorization (EUA) for its device that helps clinicians spot cardiac complications in individuals with COVID-19.
Eko closed its $65 million Series C round in 2020. This new round of funding brings the company’s total raise to $125 million, according to TechCrunch.