SAN DIEGO, CA. – Mar. 27, 2014 – The Gary and Mary West Health Investment Fund announced that the assets of Sense4Baby, Inc., developer of a smartphone-based maternal/fetal monitoring system, have been acquired by AirStrip to further improve the quality of care for mothers and babies with innovative mobile solutions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Separately, the fund also announced its participation in a $7.5 million Series A Preferred Stock financing of Reflexion Health, Inc., and a previously announced $5 million equity investment in Svelte Medical Systems, Inc., two companies with innovative technologies that could help improve care delivery, demonstrating how the West Health ecosystem is helping to further new technologies that can help lower the cost of healthcare.
“These major milestones at Sense4Baby, Reflexion Health and Svelte Medical Systems demonstrate the value of West Health’s mission of pioneering new and smarter technologies to make high-quality healthcare more accessible at a lower cost to all Americans,” said Nicholas Valeriani, manager of the West Health Investment Fund and chief executive of West Health. “Sense4Baby’s acquisition showcases the first successful technology transfer from research at the Institute, to investment from the Fund and residency at our Incubator, leading to this important technology’s license and acquisition by AirStrip who will further its development and availability, and continue to improve the quality of cost-effective care for mothers and babies.”
Women with high-risk pregnancies may require fetal monitoring up to twice per week. The Sense4Baby system consists of a remote, wireless maternal/fetal heart rate monitoring system that performs this non-stress testing (NST) for high-risk pregnancies on a smartphone or tablet. It received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a CE mark from the European Commission to commercialize the medical device in 2013. San Antonio-based AirStrip’s expertise in the fetal/maternal health marketplace will help support the on-going clinical and commercial development of the Sense4Baby system. AirStrip is licensing the Sense4Baby technology from the Gary and Mary West Health Institute.
Reflexion Health, which resides in the West Health Incubator and incorporates core technology derived from initial research conducted at the West Health Institute, is the developer of a software platform for rehabilitation medicine using the Microsoft Kinect for Windows. “Vera™,” Reflexion Health’s first product, modernizes physical therapy by incorporating an interactive patient interface that motivates patients to perform their physical exercises at home, while sending real-time information and performance data back to their clinicians. Vera is currently in pilot studies at the Center for Connected Health, a division of Partners HealthCare in Boston, MA, and Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA.
Also receiving investment from the West Health Investment Fund, New Jersey-based Svelte Medical Systems is a privately-held company engaged in the development of highly deliverable balloon expandable stents for facilitating direct access to coronary lesions for stent placement. The Svelte device may eliminate multiple procedure steps and many unnecessary catheter and balloon products. The low profile delivery system potentially allows for a smaller diameter arterial puncture, which could eliminate the need for costly closure devices, reduce wound complications and recovery time.
“The Reflexion Health and Svelte Medical Systems financings are highlighting new approaches to healthcare delivery that have great potential to disrupt current care models through patient-centered solutions, a central part of West Health’s mission,” said Valeriani.