According to the CDC, the number of people with asthma is growing quickly. In 2009, one in 14 people had asthma, and in 2011, the number rose to one in 12. In 2015, about half of children age 18 and younger who had asthma reported having one or more asthma attacks in the past year. There is currently no cure for asthma, but it can be treated. While more people than ever before have asthma, it is quickly becoming one of America’s costliest diseases, costing $81.9 billion annually.
Andrew Murphy, CEO/ CMO of the Asthma, Allergy and Sinus Center in West Chester, Pennsylvania gives some insight about the importance of creating new asthma health technology. He states that 5-10% of asthmatics are responsible for covering the majority of costs associated with asthma care.
Murphy says, “The development of affordable, patient friendly, easy to use, clinically relevant technology has the potential to bend this healthcare cost curve. The measurement of markers of inflammation, for example exhaled nitric oxide, have the real potential to identify increased lung inflammation and allow patients to seek care sooner rather than later – thus improving patient care and lowering healthcare costs.”
Here are the top 4 asthma health tech startups in the US:
ALung Technologies is a Pittsburgh based startup that has raised a $36M Series C announced on April 11, 2017. The company has developed lung assist devices that function as gas exchange technology to treat respiratory disorders. One of their devices, the Hemolung® Respiratory Assist System, which has received FDA approval for a clinical trial in adults with COPD, circulates blood through a small catheter as an alternative to dialysis or mechanical ventilation. The company serves those with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma with status asthmaticus, acute respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, congestive heart failure with pulmonary edema, neonatal respiratory, and distress syndrome patients, as well as military patients.
Spirosure is a California based startup that has raised a $15M Series C that was announced on January 8, 2018. Spirometrix focuses on researching and developing breath analysis devices that can detect exhaled nitric oxide for asthma, COPD, and chronic pulmonary hypertension patients. With the help of sensors and algorithms, their smart technology is used within the physician’s office to facilitate diagnosis and management on the clinician side. The company also offers a connected digital health solution to help patients with long term self-management of their conditions with an action plan based off of smart system analysis. The platform also gives clinicians real-time measurements of lung function and airway inflammation.
Tueo Health is a California based startup that has raised a $1.1M in the Seed Round, which was announced on July 25, 2017. The company focuses their technology on helping to monitor and treat children with asthma. With objective monitoring, the company has developed a smart sleep sensor that takes measurements and cross analyzes them with clinical insights to create actionable results. The company also provides a Tueo asthma health educator to help coach parents through their child’s asthma management.
BioLum Sciences is a Dallas based startup that successfully secured Seed funding from Intelis Capital on September 7, 2017. BioLum’s technology focuses on the diagnosis, treatment of asthma with a mobile health device to measure symptoms away from the doctor’s office as well as an imaging platform that analyzes exhaled breath to measure oxidative stress within the lung. The startup is awaiting FDA approval.
Edward Allegra, BioLum Sciences CEO says, “BioLum Sciences’ technology offers a valuable tool for asthma diagnosis and management that will greatly improve the quality of life for asthmatics and others who suffer with respiratory illnesses. We are very excited to continue expanding our company this year as we gain new medical partners, business advisors, and investors strategically aligned with our vision.”
Header Image: BioLum Sciences Co-Founding Team
Leah D’Sa is a Junior studying Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. She is currently a copyeditor for the school newspaper the Berkeley Beacon as well as Poetry Editor for the literary magazine the Emerson Review. She is looking to begin her career with health technology writing as she seeks to combine her lifelong love of writing and science.
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