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Audio Digital Biomarkers Start-Up Raises $3.7M in Seed Funds

MD with stethoscope

(George Hodan, Public Domain Pictures)

11 Jan. 2023. A new company developing techniques to analyze internal physiological sounds captured by stethoscopes as health indicators is raising $3.7 million in seed funds. Lapsi Health in Amsterdam and Helsinki says it’s creating devices and software to identify digital biomarkers with big-data analytics of audio derived from stethoscopes.

The company’s technology is based on auscultation, the common and non-invasive practice by physicians of listening with a stethoscope to sounds made by a patient’s heart, lungs, blood vessels, and gastrointestinal organs. With auscultation, a physician can uncover noticeable problems in heart rhythms, heart valve problems, difficulties breathing in one or both lungs, as well as abnormal activity in the intestines. Auscultation can also reveal turbulence or low intensity of blood flow. From those initial indicators with a stethoscope, physicians can then follow-up with more precise and conclusive tests.

Lapsi Health is developing technology that aims to capture the sounds heard through stethoscopes as digital audio that can be analyzed with computational tools to reveal details of an individual’s health. These so-called digital biomarkers, says the company, can then be built into point-of-care medical devices, or sent electronically to monitor patients remotely and in telemedicine encounters between clinicians and patients. In addition, says Lapsi Health, auscultation analytics can be combined with digital therapeutics to directly address diseases.

European tech competition award

“Data driven decisions,” says Lapsi Health co-founder and chief medical officer Diana van Stijn in a company statement released through Cision, “are the next step to improving health care, patient empowerment, clinical intelligence, and to make clinical research more democratized. These are the ideals that inspired us to create Lapsi Health.”

After the company’s formation in July 2021, Lapsi Health began incubation at Health Incubator Helsinki that provides facilities for research-based health care start-ups as well as mentoring, advisory services, and networking opportunities. In March 2022, according to Crunchbase, the company raised $640,000 in pre-seed funds, followed in June by a $1.1 million Eurostars award, a European technology grant competition. And in September, says the company, Lapsi Health was accepted into the the TechLeap accelerator for technology start-ups in the Netherlands.

Lapsi Health has so far not revealed specifics of its technology portfolio, but the company says it developed its first prototype early last year. Since then, notes co-founder and CEO Jhonatan Bringas Dimitriades, “we released four generations of prototypes and two native applications. We have been able to validate our technology and showcase it in several venues worldwide and to several medical leaders.”

In its seed funding round, Lapsi Health is raising $3.7 million led by Modi Ventures in Houston that backs early-stage companies adapting artificial intelligence and medical technology developers. Taking part in the round are current investors Vendash and Bolwork, and new investor BeKey, a software company. Lapsi Health says it plans to use the proceeds to continue developing its technology and prepare for certification with the Food and Drug Administration, to enter the U.S. market.

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