Heart Health Intelligence is a medical device impact startup that will do well by doing good – for heart failure patients and for hospitals. Heart failure (HF) is a type of cardiovascular disease where the heart does not pump enough blood to supply the needs of the body. There are 1 million new cases of HF each year; this equates to a $34 billion cost in the US with 80 percent due to hospitalization. Today’s standard of care misses deterioration in the vitality of HF outpatients because a daily, comprehensive cardiovascular assessment is unavailable. More than 45% of patients diagnosed with HF are readmitted within 90 days of discharge.
Heart Health Intelligence’s patented technology and proprietary algorithms will alert doctors to 10 clinically relevant measurements for patients, including blood pressure and cardiac output, so changes to medicines or other interventions can occur before they become life-threatening. It will significantly reduce the financial burden of heart failure by preventing hospital readmissions which today directly costs hospitals $528 million per year in penalties.
How will this happen? CEO Nick Conn, an electrical engineer and postdoctoral fellow at RIT, invented an in-home system using a toilet seat for a cardiovascular monitoring system. It makes patient compliance easy and effortless; results have been validated on over 300 human subjects including those with cardiovascular disease and heart failure. Conn collaborated with Dr. Karl Schwarz, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The device collects clinical grade data using sensors, eliminating problems with HF outpatients monitoring themselves when they are not under direct medical supervision.
The company’s vision is to transform the healthcare system by enabling the transition from reactive to proactive and preventive care. Conn recognized that Heart Health Intelligence needed its business strategy to be as strong as the company’s technology prowess. TEN’s mantra of helping entrepreneurs build businesses that are profitable, scalable and sustainable resonated with Conn. He applied and was accepted into The Entrepreneurs Network where active investors and business owners lead all instruction and coaching.
“Getting a medical device to market is a complex and expensive process. TEN is helping me to tie together the business strategy and operational plan so that my company can articulate how we will execute our plan and provide a significant return to investors,” said Conn. “TEN’s focus on due diligence from the perspective of both investors and for founders was eye-opening, and in fact, good business practice.”
Heart Health Intelligence has captured the attention of investors across the US and unlikely strategic partners outside of healthcare through potential research collaborations at RIT, like NASA and MD Anderson Cancer Center. The company expects its innovative product to be approved for launch in 2021, allowing it to improve the lives of people diagnosed with heart failure, reducing costs of HF treatment and gathering data for use in future innovations related to cardiovascular disease and heart failure.