Tel Aviv-based startup BiPS Health is looking to change the way patients’ vital signs are monitored at hospitals and at home.
The firm is developing a medical device that enables the constant monitoring of various vital parameters, including blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), respiration rate and heart rate. The accessory is a bracelet attached to two short inflatable finger cuffs with sensors. The bracelet and the sensors are able to regularly analyze the information obtained, said BiPS CEO Ran Keren in a phone interview.
The aim is to replace the current monitoring performed by nurses in hospitals. Currently, 80 percent of patients in hospitals in Israel and throughout the world are not monitored continuously, but only on average every eight hours, once per a nursing cycle. Studies show that 50%-70% of the cases of patient deterioration can be predicted hours before it happens. The new device will enable reliable, continuous monitoring of blood pressure and other vital indicators, Keren said, and also ease pressure on nursing staff.
The technology “will dramatically improve treatment and the ability to detect deterioration in the patient’s condition hours before it actually occurs,” he said.
The most unique feature of the device is the reliable monitoring of blood pressure via the finger in a wearable device and at a “medical grade,” Keren said. The standard way to measure blood pressure today is via the use of monitors on an inflatable arm sleeve. “It is not convenient, and nurses sometimes have to wake patients up in the middle of the night to take their blood pressure,” said Keren.
BiPS’ technology allows the hospital to determine the amount of monitoring required — either continuous or at set intervals, Keren said. The collected data gets sent via wifi (the bracelet holds both the wifi system and the battery) to the patient’s digital file and/or to the nurses’ station or wherever else required, and the software integrates with existing hospital systems, he said.
The company will target its device, currently still in development, for hospital use initially. Eventually, because it allows patients to move freely while wearing the device, it will also be suitable for telemedicine and the home-use market, Keren said. The market potential of the bracelet is at about 450,000 patients per year in the US alone, the company estimates.
BiPS’ technology nabbed first place last month in a Israeli competition for early-stage medical companies. The competition was run by Trendlines Medical, part of the Trendlines incubator, the Israel Export Institute, and Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI), among others.
“BiPS Health’s technology will provide the first wearable, medical-grade monitoring device that measures vital signs, including blood pressure, from the finger, that is both accurate and comfortable,” said Yuval Almougy, VP New Ventures, Trendlines Medical. “Although there are already commercial medical grade FDA certified finger-based blood pressure monitors implemented in hospitals, they are based on technologies that restrict the patient to bed. We believe that BiPS Health provides answers to all these limitations.”
The founding team of BiPS includes Keren, Dr. Nimrod Adi, director of the Intensive Care Unit at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), who spotted the need; Dr. Gil Zoizner, a physician at Kaplan Hospital and an electronics engineer; and Dr. Jonathan Rubin.
In a recent life sciences report published by IATI that reviewed the biomedical industry in Israel, Trendlines was ranked the most active investor in life sciences in Israel in 2016.