Cardiogram raises $2 million to predict heart health issues using wearables


Health tech startupCardiogram has raised $2 million in a seed round led by the a16z Bio Fund for an app that screensusers cardio health and gives them help improving or maintaining it.

The companystartedout with anApple Watch integrated app,initially. But it is ultimately planning to be a device agnostic business, and to make its app utilizablewith all manner of wearables such as Android Wear watches, or various fitness bands and activity trackers from the likes of Fitbit or Garmin.

In addition to the seed funding round, Cardiogram today unveiled what its calling an app store for habits, in which it features apps for guided meditation, or physical and mental health exercises, which the startupbelieves will help its users improve or maintain good heart health.

So far, according to co-founders Brandon Ballinger and Johnson Hsieh, Cardiogram has already amassed10 billion sensor measurements from approximately100,000 people who wearApple Watches.

This volume of data has let us achieve a c-statistic (an accuracy measure) of above 90% in detecting atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heart rhythm, Ballinger said. We think its important for even young digital health companies to submit their work to peer review, so youll see us submit to both medical journals and artificial intelligence conferencesin coming years as well.

Cardiograms founding team.

So far, theapp isnt just resonating withold folks, or contrarily, young fitness freaks.The companys users range in age from 18 to 94, the founderssaid.

Additional investors in Cardiograms seed round included:Homebrew, and individual angelsincluding Color Genomicsco-founders Elad Gil and Othman Laraki, andRock Health founder Halle Tecco, among others.

A General Partner at a16z who launchedthe firms$200 million health-focusedfund, Vijay Pande, said one reason he backed Cardiogramis that it is making data soup into actionable insights that can savelives.

The investor said, Cardiogram is doing something Im excited about in general, which is taking massive quantities of data from new sources, in their case from wearablesand applying state of the art machine learning techniques to it so that people can gain something from it on their own.

The investor expects Cardiogram to continue to work closely with the scientific community to share and vet its own research, and to use its funding for hiring and product development.

The app is learning how to identify and predictone major heart condition now, atrial fibrillation,but the company has the potential to predict many other heart problems and diseases like diabetes that are correlated with heart rate variability, as well.

Cardiogram is currently working with researchers and cardiologists at the University of California, San Francisco as part of the institutionsHealth eHeartstudy.

Their goal is to be ableto accurately predict and identify atrial fibrillation using algorithms, and to understand what normal heart health looks like, using data from mainstreamwearable devices and smartphones.

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