CardieXa cardiovascular technology company based in both Australia and Illinois, recently acquired Bloomioa San Mateo, California-based startup focused on cardiovascular sensors. The deal will advance the two companies’ vision of accurately and easily measuring blood pressure without relying on the use of a cuff, according to Blumio CEO and co-founder Catherine Liao.
As a medical device developer, CardieX products measure arterial stiffness and central blood pressure waves. It also manufactures wearables and devices for remote patient monitoring, decentralized clinical trials and home health.
Blumio claims to be “leading the charge” when it comes to creating wearable sensors that can capture a cardiovascular signal without the use of pulse pressure. Its competitors fit into two buckets, Liao said in an interview.
The first group are companies seeking to develop the same type of new sensor as Blumio. Liao by name PyrAmes, a Cupertino-based company, as an example, but pointed out that the company is focused on applying its sensor only to neonatal care. The second group includes startups that use existing optical sensors, commonly found in smartwatches and fitness trackers, as a mechanism to non-invasively measure blood pressure. In this category companies like Biobeat Medical, Action and LiveMetric thought of Liao.
Before the acquisition was announced, CardieX and Blumio — which were founded in 1994 and 2015, respectively — had been collaborators for about three years.
The collaboration began so that the two companies could work together to measure arterial stiffness as well as to derive various central aortic biomarkers related to the heart. Much of CardieX’s core technology was developed to rely on the use of a tonometer, which is essentially a pressure sensor that looks like a pen and allows doctors to measure the pulsation of a patient’s artery, according to Liao. Using tonometers requires trained clinical staff, while Blumio’s sensor technology can “essentially replace that immediately” and make it easier for clinicians to assess how stiff a patient’s artery is as part of an overall health assessment, she said.
During the collaboration, Blumio was focused on providing its hardware development kits to CardieX, as well as working with the company on clinical studies to validate the robustness and accuracy of the signal acquired by its sensor.
During the same period of time, Blumio also collaborated with other companies viz Infineon and Google — to improve its technology, Liao said. But when it came time to buy it, she said CardieX was definitely the right collaborator to make a deal with.
“It was really about aligning where our products can come together,” Liao said. “It was about seeing that we have a way forward. We can incorporate our technology directly into their product by being part of their product development roadmap.”
This deal also helps both Blumio and CardieX from a growth perspective, she pointed out. Liao said CardieX is “in the process of listing on NASDAQ” and is working to “build a large presence” in the US as well as globally.
CardieX CEO Craig Cooper agreed that this acquisition makes the company more poised for growth.
“We are focused exclusively on the vascular biohealth market or the biomarker sector in terms of developing wearables and other solutions for vascular disease,” he said in an interview. “No one is focusing solely on arterial health, which is actually the biggest health disorder in the world, not only from a cardiovascular and hypertension perspective, but also from the perspective of other additional vascular diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease and preeclampsia. “
Now that Blumio has been acquired, Liao has joined CardieX as Chief Strategy Officer. Cooper said Liao shares CardieX’s vision for developing wearable devices to improve arterial health, “so it made sense that we would all come together and have her become part of the team.”
For Liao, the nice part about being a part of CardieX now is that fundraising is removed from her day-to-day responsibilities.
“I can really focus on driving product development and more importantly the commercialization and go-to-market strategy for the entire, broader CardieX product suite,” she said.
Financials of the deal were not disclosed by Liao or Cooper.
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