Detecting Early Signs of Heart Failure
Future Cardia is a medical-technology company targeting a forty-billion-dollar problem.
That problem is heart-failure emergencies. And its solution is a tiny, implantable cardiac device. This device monitors patients suffering from heart failure, and reduces the need for hospitalizations. It even enables physicians to detect signs of heart failure before the onset of symptoms.
You might be familiar with this company. It was previously known as “Oracle Health.” And members of our premium research service, Private Market Profits, had the opportunity to invest in it in 2020.
Future Cardia has raised more than eight million dollars, and graduated from two top startup accelerators: Stanford StartX and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Labs’ “JLABS.”
Over the past twelve years, several startups that went through Stanford StartX have reached unicorn status (valuations of at least one billion dollars). And of the more than 430 startups that completed the JLABS accelerator between 2012 and 2018, ninety-two percent are still in business.
Future Cardia is led by CEO Jaeson Bang, a former cardiology manager with Abiomed, a medical company that was acquired in fall 2022 by Johnson & Johnson for eighteen billion dollars. His Director of Technology Randy Armstrong has thirty years of medical device development experience, including experience with Cameron Health, a med tech company acquired by Boston Scientific for more than one billion dollars.
Simply put, these executives are experts when it comes to heart failure, a cardiac condition that can result in troubled breathing and frequent hospitalizations.
Patients who suffer from this ailment have weakened heart muscles, whose job it is to pump blood throughout the body. As the heart begins to fail, fluid accumulates in the lungs, which can lead to sudden and severe breathing problems.
In the U.S., six million patients suffer from heart failure. And because of a lack of remote monitoring solutions, they’re often referred to the Emergency Room and hospitalized — even if it’s a false alarm.
More than one million people are hospitalized due to symptoms of heart failure every year. And these instances cost the healthcare industry forty billion dollars annually.
Yes, there are other options for monitoring heart failure patients. A sensor called CardioMems, for example, can be implanted inside the patient’s heart (this device was acquired by Abbott for $455 million). But while these sensors are accurate, they’re expensive, and the procedure to implant them is invasive.
Wearable monitors are a more affordable alternative, and don’t require a surgical procedure. But these devices aren’t accurate, and aren’t intended to serve as a long-term monitoring option.
Only Future Cardia’s tiny implant is presented as an accurate, affordable, minimally-invasive monitor for heart failure patients. This device uses multiple sensors, remote monitoring technology, and cloud-based Artificial Intelligence for long-term, comprehensive cardiac monitoring.
Here’s how it works:
The device is inserted into the patient during a simple, two-minute long office procedure. This procedure doesn’t require surgery, a trip to the hospital, or even a follow-up appointment. The device is inserted under the patient’s skin.
Once inserted, the device yields billions of data points, including both sounds and rhythms produced by the heart. As data is collected, healthcare providers can compare trending changes over time for continuous cardiac monitoring. Thanks to machine learning, the more data that’s collected, the more the analysis can improve.
From a technical perspective, the device relies on three main features: an acoustic sensor, an Electrocardiogram, and a 3-axis accelerometer. The acoustic sensor listens to heart and lung sounds, while the ECG records heart rhythms. The accelerometer records activity, posture, and body orientation.
Recorded cardiac data is securely transmitted to a smartphone, then to a cloud-based AI algorithm for analysis. By analyzing trends, Future Cardia can detect early signs of cardiac decline even before symptoms appear. This enables clinicians to prioritize at-risk patients, implement therapeutic interventions, and prevent hospitalizations.
Future Cardia has completed pre-clinical testing with twenty-six heart failure patients. Further testing is required before it can hit the market.
To sell its devices, Future Cardia will first focus on two high-volume markets: Texas and Florida. Each device will cost $1,000 to manufacture and will retail for $5,300. The company expects that each device will be reimbursable by insurance. With this business model, Future Cardia aims to generate twenty-six million dollars from its first 5,000 implants within four years.
Jim has 20 years of experience studying the science of heart failure and working with startups.
Most notably, he spent seven years at CVRx as a senior research scientist.
He later spent two years each at medical device companies CHF Solutions (Nasdaq: CHFS), serving as Chief Scientific Officer, and Barologics, which he founded.
Jim earned one Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and another in Systems Physiology, from the University of Toronto. He also earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins.
Jaeson has significant expertise in med-tech companies, and more specifically, companies focused on heart conditions.
Jaeson started Oracle Health after nearly four years at EBR Systems, a Silicon Valley-based medical technology startup. At EBR, he worked with the CTO and R&D engineers on device development, and led a team of therapy development managers and field clinician engineers.
Prior to that, he worked at Keystone Heart, a venture-backed med-tech company.
Earlier in his career, Jaeson was a cardiology account manager for Abiomed (Nasdaq: ABMD), which was creating a micro heart pump for those suffering from cardiac arrest. He was also a regional manager for CVRx, a startup backed by Johnson & Johnson developing proprietary implantable technology for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure.
He began his career at Medtronic as a senior clinical specialist and sales rep.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UCLA, and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Dr. Okabe specializes in cardiac electrophysiology, and has 14 years of medical experience.
He works in the Department of Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiovascular Disease at the Ohio State University Medical Center. He earned his MD from the University of Tokyo.
Dan has extensive experience working in the med tech industry and a specific focus on heart failure.
Most recently, he was Vice President of Medical Science with HeartWare, a medical device company creating technology for the treatment of heart failure. Prior to that, he founded PVLoops, developers of cardiovascular educational software.
For 16 years, he was an adjunct associate professor of medicine at Columbia University. Before that, he spent a decade as Medical Director at Impulse Dynamics, another medical device company focused on heart failure patients.
Earlier in his career, Dan was Medical Director for CircuLite and Cheetah Medical, a pair of medical device companies.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics from Cornell University, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins, and a Doctorate of Medicine from Johns Hopkins.