Curie AI raises seed funding for its AI-based respiratory monitor

The device can detect signs of asthma and COPD based on how a patient breathes during sleep

Respiratory illnesses are more common than many people probably realize: around 25 million Americans have asthma, which is around 1 in 13 Americans, including 8% of adults and 7% of children. Meanwhile, 15.7 million Americans, or 6.4% of the population, reported that they have been diagnosed with COPD, which was third leading cause of death

Yet, despite their prevalence, actually managing these diseases is very difficult for many people, said Navya Davuluri, CEO and co-founder of Curie AI. The, company, which developed a device for passive monitoring of respiratory patients, announced a seed funding round from ResMed, Factory and SeedToB on Tuesday.

“Management of respiratory health issues is subjective, reactive, and difficult to provide easy and effective access to, resulting in poor quality of life for patients and high costs of preventable emergency care,” she said. 

“These are acute and critical care patients that do not have an objective way to manage their illness.”

Curie’s solution is to monitor respiratory illnesses without requiring anything from the patient: its tablet is placed on a patient’s bedside, which then uses artificial intelligence to assess their respiratory health as they sleep, using a set of over one million hours of respiratory audio biomarkers. The device can scan and listen for symptoms; it then takes these insights and gives the feedback to the patient’s clinician.

“The AI does continuous inference of data through the monitoring duration, typically overnight monitoring, and gives an objective assessment of respiratory distress along several dimensions. This provides rich information on if the patient has any shortness of breath, audible wheezing, what type of cough, presence of mucus, frequency of symptoms, etc,” Davuluri said.

“Combined with our proprietary dataset of over one million hours, our AI engine provides actionable insights allowing clinicians to be at least two days ahead of worsening symptoms.”

In trials with the Allergy & Asthma Network (AAN) and the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation (SCAHC), Curie saw an adherence rate of 98%, which resulted insights in a 60% reduction in rescue inhaler use, and over 80% reduction in ER visits and hospitalization. 

Independent private practices use Curie as a supplemental care provider for their COPD patients, as the device helps support the daily management of their patients in between their regular pulmonology appointments. So far, the device has been deployed in healthcare organizations across US and the company plans to use its new funding to expand its footprint with health systems and independent provider organizations throughout the next year.

The funding will also be used for building out the team and to further develop the product.

“We aspire to create the world standard for evaluation and clinical care for respiratory illness that improves quality and ease of life for our patients,” said Davuluri.

“ResMed is a market leader in respiratory care. Their backing speaks to the credibility of the unique technology we have built for monitoring patients with respiratory conditions. With their support, we are excited to establish Curie as the leading virtual first specialty provider addressing respiratory conditions.”

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