Donate to Science & Enterprise

S&E on Mastodon

S&E on LinkedIn

S&E on Flipboard

Please share Science & Enterprise

NSF Backs Smart Wearable Stethoscope

Human lungs illustration


10 Mar. 2022. A medical technology company is receiving a small-business grant to advance a wearable at-home lung monitoring system for people with respiratory diseases. National Science Foundation is providing more than $990,000 to Strados Labs Inc. in Philadelphia, to fund the first year of the company’s two-year R&D project.

Strados Labs is developing a sensor device called the Resp, worn on the chest in a clinic or at home. The Resp, says Strados Labs, provides continuous, real-time monitoring of a patient’s lungs, collecting acoustical data from more than 1 million data points. Data collected by Resp are uploaded to the cloud, where the patient’s lung condition can be assessed and analyzed over time. The company says the device offers 220 hours of continuous data without intervention from the patient. Resp also uses noise cancellation, says Strados Labs, to capture only lung acoustics and not the patient’s speech.

The NSF award is the second part of the agency’s two-phase support for the Resp device. In Aug. 2020, Strados Labs received a $224,500 award from NSF to develop the company’s basic lung monitoring technology, including machine learning algorithms for analyzing acoustical data and refining assessments for physicians. The new grant supports advances in the device and back-end system’s designs to provide more reliable patient measurements and assessments, improve noise reduction, upgrade data annotation and analysis, and conduct further testing to validate the system’s usability and safety.

Further develop a standardized database

Strados Labs says the new NSF funds will also enable the company to refine its databases and analytical engines. “This grant,” says co-founder and CEO Nick Delmonico in a company statement released through Cision, “will be used in the further development of a standardized database for things like wheezology and coughology, acoustic biomarkers to predict disease progression and personalize care.”

Strados Labs was formed in 2016, but began ramping up its activity in the past two years. NSF awarded its first R&D funds in Aug. 2020, and the Resp system received a CE mark in Nov. 2021 that authorizes marketing of the system in European Union countries. In Jan. 2022, Strados Labs raised $4.5 million in advance of the company’s first venture funding round.

The NSF award is made under the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research or SBIR program that sets aside funds for U.S.-based companies commercializing scientific research. SBIR grants are usually made in two phases, a first phase to prove the concept, after which a company can apply for additional funds to build a prototype or complete preclinical work. NSF says it awards more than $200 million each year in SBIR grants to some 400 start-up companies.

More from Science & Enterprise:

We designed Science & Enterprise for busy readers including investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, and students. Except for a narrow cookies and privacy strip for first-time visitors, we have no pop-ups blocking the page, nor distracting animated GIF graphics. If you want to subscribe for daily email alerts, you can do that here, or find the link in the upper left-hand corner of the desktop page. The site is free, with no paywall. But, of course, donations are gratefully accepted.

*     *     *


1 comment to NSF Backs Smart Wearable Stethoscope