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Exclusive: Eko Health nets $41M for remote heart and lung tech

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Jun 5, 2024
Illustration of a segmented stethoscope

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Eko Health, a developer of technology to detect heart and lung disease remotely, raised a $41 million Series D, CEO Connor Landgraf tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Eko aims to enable a wide range of providers to spot heart and lung abnormalities faster and more easily.

Zoom in: Artis Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, NTTVC, and Questa Capital participated in the raise, Eko's first since 2020.

  • Funds will be used for international expansion in Europe, the Middle East, and Singapore.
  • Landgraf says the company "intend[s] to use this money to get to cash-flow positive," adding, "We hope for this to be our last round of financing."

How it works: The San Francisco company combines digital stethoscopes with monitoring and analysis algorithms.

Between the lines: In a non-sponsored NHS study published in 2022 in the journal The Lancet, British researchers found Eko's Duo device diagnosed heart failure at the point of care with 91% sensitivity and 80% specificity.

What they're saying: Lancet lead study author Nicholas Peters called the results a "game changer" for general practitioners or primary care physicians, who could "use it in a way that fits how they examine patients to reliably rule in or rule out heart failure."

  • Bryan Murphey, an internal medicine specialist at Florida-based health system NCH, tells Axios he and his team use Eko's Sensora device "to identify patients sooner, before they end up in the emergency room."

Flashback: Landgraf and the rest of the Eko founding team met at the University of California, Berkeley, where discussions stemming from a class project about med tech seeded the idea for the startup.

  • The key moment: When a student asked a group of attending physicians about their use of stethoscopes, most said they didn't actually get that much value from the devices, though patients expected them to be used.
  • Landgraf and a few others came up with the idea to improve the devices by pattern-matching heart and lung sounds with an algorithm to eventually create an early warning system for disease.
  • "We called it 'Shazam for heart disease' at the time," he recalls.

Flashback: Eko raised a $65 million Series C in 2020.

State of play: Venture dollars have a recent history of flowing to virtual care startups that leverage artificial intelligence and focus on heart conditions.

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