Current Health closes $11.5M funding round to scale its AI wearable and patient management technology

Current Health co-founders, Chief Technology Officer Stewart Whiting (left) and CEO Christopher McCann, developed a wearable device that uses artificial intelligence to remotely track and analyze multiple vital signs while worn by patients at home. (Current Health)

As a medical student, Christopher McCann recognized one major challenge with improving patients' health—knowing when to intervene before it's too late. With a background in computer science, he thought technology could help.

McCann, who grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, attended the University of Dundee School of Medicine in Scotland but eventually left medical school to start a company that uses wearables and artificial intelligence to monitor patients.

"Healthcare finds it difficult to get to the sickest patient, or the deteriorating patient, at an early enough point. We rely on registered nurses going around every eight to 10 years to take vital signs and that happens so infrequently that quite often patients would not be seen until they are acutely unwell," McCann told FierceHealthcare.

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This patient monitoring challenge is even more difficult once patients are discharged from the hospital to recover at home.

Current Health wearable
(Current Health)

RELATED: Current Health's AI wearable for keeping chronically ill patients out of the hospital gets FDA clearance

"Healthcare is moving out of the hospital and being delivered in patients' homes with a focus on community-based care. The challenge is identifying the patient who is at risk in that environment," he said.

In 2015, McCann and Stewart Whiting started Current Health (formerly known as snap40) to help solve this problem. They developed a Wi-Fi-enabled wearable, worn on patients' upper arms, to remotely monitor vital signs with what the company describes as "ICU-level accuracy."

The device collects vitals such as respiratory rate, oxygen levels, pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. The company's technology also integrates with 50 other medical devices to track patient health trends. Leveraging machine learning algorithms, the company’s platform analyzes the data to proactively detect illness and alert providers to high-risk patients so they can deliver healthcare earlier, McCann said.

Current Health has spent the last three years quietly building and testing its technology directly with healthcare providers, McCann said. The company secured three U.S. Food and Drug Administration 501(k) clearances for its platform.

Thirteen large healthcare systems in the U.S. and the U.K.—including Mount Sinai and Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust—now work with Current Health to use its patient management technology to help manage patient care.

Using the technology, some of these health systems have been able to shorten hospital stays, reduce hospital readmission rates, improve patient satisfaction and deliver better patient outcomes, according to McCann.

McCann has ambitions to scale up the platform to manage 1 million patients by 2021.

The company just closed an $11.5 million series A funding round and plans to use the capital to continue to grow Current Health's sales and operations teams and invest in improving analytics and AI capabilities.

The company has grown revenue by more than 300%, according to executives, and has plans to launch a new wearable device in 2020. Current Health also plans to open a U.S. headquarters in New York City.

RELATED: Humana, Philips team up to offer remote monitoring to select MA members

The funding round was led by MMC Ventures. Legal & General, a life insurer and asset manager, is Current Health’s first corporate investor and the largest investor in the round. Par Equity and Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also participated in the funding round.

"Healthcare is undergoing a paradigm shift from reactive, in-hospital treatment to proactive, community-based care,” Bruce Macfarlane, managing partner at MMC Ventures, said in a statement.

"Reliable, continuous patient monitoring enables earlier intervention in the event of patient deterioration, a better experience for patients and fewer unnecessary hospital re-admissions. With its world-class team and platform, Current Health has the right fundamentals to execute on a vast opportunity and become a global category leader in this important market," Macfarlane said.

There are many remote patient monitoring solutions on the market, but McCann believes Current Health's point of differentiation is that it offers a patient management platform, not patient monitoring.

"I don't believe that the real clinical problem is to monitor patients; there are not enough physicians in the world to monitor that many patients in the outpatient environment. The problem is to identify and manage those patients who require attention. We don’t just present the physician with a lot of data. We present them with insight that they can act upon," he said.

He added, "It's about separating the signal from the noise."

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