Mar 24, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: Podimetrics raises $45M to reduce diabetic amputations

Illustration of a hundred dollar bill masked out by two footprints.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Podimetrics, a digital health company aimed at stopping diabetes-related amputations, raised $45 million in Series C funding led by D1 Capital Partners, the company's CEO Jonathan Bloom tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: A ProPublica analysis found roughly 130,000 amputations are performed on people with diabetes each year, often in low-income and underinsured areas. Podimetrics looks to address that.

How it works: Somerville, Mass.-based Podimetrics makes a connected, FDA-approved temperature mat that spots early signs of inflammation and nips complications, such as diabetic foot ulcers, in the bud.

  • More than 80% of amputations begin with foot ulcers, according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • That data is sent to a patient's care management team, who reviews the information and advises on next steps over the phone.
  • Its services are available to high-risk patients of the Veterans Health Administration and several regional and national health plans through partnerships between the company and those providers.

Be smart: A multi-center trial sponsored by Podimetrics and done in partnership with the Veterans Administration suggested using its mat "may result in significant reductions" in illnesses, deaths and hospital visits among high-risk individuals.

  • In study participants, the mat helped spot potential complications roughly 37 days before a clinician noticed them.

Yes but: The multi-center trial also found the mat had a high false-positive rate, telling people who are not at high risk that they are at high risk — an issue Bloom says gets addressed by nurses when they speak with patients over the phone.

By the numbers: The rate of diabetes-related amputations rose 50% between 2009 and 2015, according to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

  • In rural parts of the southeastern U.S. — and especially among Black Americans — the rates of diabetes-related amputations can be as high as four times the national average, the authors of a report from the Dartmouth Institute found.

What's next: Bloom says he plans to use the new capital to bulk up Podimetrics' product development and research teams and expand the range of services its nurse support team provides.

  • "We've spent so much time really getting the data right, and now it's time for more growth," says Bloom.

More details on this deal are available in today's Axios Pro Deals Health Tech newsletter.

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