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Wearable Defibrillator Maker Gains $145.6M

Heartbeat graphic


4 Mar. 2020. The developer of a patch device that monitors and adjusts heart rhythms to prevent sudden cardiac death is raising $145.6 million in a new venture funds. Element Science Inc. in San Francisco makes the Jewel patch wearable defibrillator, an experimental device for people with life-threatening arrhythmias, or heart rhythm disorders, at high risk of sudden cardiac death.

Sudden cardiac death or SCD, is a condition where the heart either stops beating or fails to pump enough blood for the body, often resulting in death within an hour. SCD can occur because of coronary artery disease, or blockages in the arteries, leading to a heart attack and weakened or damaged heart muscles. More than seven million people worldwide die from SCD, including more than 300,000 in the U.S.

The Jewel patch is a thin electronic device worn on the chest for people at high risk of SCD, such as individuals with heart failure transitioning from hospital to home. The company says the device can be worn constantly, even when showering, and allows for remote monitoring. Software in the Jewel patch system, says Element Science, includes machine-learning algorithms and meets the highest electromechanical medical device standards.

Element Science is a nine year-old company founded by cardiac electrophysiologist and serial entrepreneur Uday Kumar, also on the biodesign faculty at Stanford University. The new $145.6 million is the company’s third venture funding round, led by life science investors Deerfield Healthcare and Qiming Venture Partners USA. Taking part in the financing are previous investors Third Rock Ventures and GV, formerly Google Ventures, as well as new investors Cormorant Asset Management and Invus Opportunities.

“The Jewel platform,” says Kumar in an Element Science statement released through BusinessWire, “supports both therapeutic and diagnostic capabilities and is designed for ease of wearability to facilitate high compliance and efficacy.” The new financing is expected to support completion of clinical studies and commercial launch of the Jewel patch. The company also plans to extend the Jewel platform into other devices to help heart failure patients in hospitals, as well as those recently discharged.

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