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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U of Michigan spinoff snags $11.5M investment to develop technology that predicts change in vital signs

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 10th, 2019

A University of Michigan (U-M) start-up has secured a $11.5 million Series A investment to commercialize a technology that predicts instability before typical vital signs point to trouble.

Fifth Eye’s first product, the Analytic for Hemodynamic Instability (AHI), uses advanced signal processing and machine learning to predict if a patient will become unstable several hours before vital signs would indicate that the patient is in danger.

The product can be used in hospital settings where patients are under continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring and would allow for intervention well before the patient’s condition becomes life- or organ-threatening.

AHI is based on technology developed at the U-M Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC) that was initially intended to be part of a simulated hemorrhage study by the U.S. Army. A team of MCIRCC researchers, several of whom would go on to launch Fifth Eye, worked on the technology for four years, developing an algorithm that uses data from ECG signals for analysis and early identification of hemodynamic decline.

“This product and company is a perfect example of MCIRCC’s strategy to transform critical care through innovation, integration and entrepreneurship,” says Kevin Ward, co-inventor of the technology and executive director of MCIRCC. “The key was bringing together a highly multidisciplinary team committed to developing a life-saving ‘big data’ precision-medicine tool while simultaneously understanding the need to develop and cultivate a crucial business case to move the idea to impact.”

Fifth Eye plans to use the $11.5 million investment to secure FDA clearance, support clinical studies and enable the commercial launch of the product.

U-M Tech Transfer, the university’s commercialization arm, originally licensed the technology to Fifth Eye. Kelly Sexton, associate vice president for research-technology transfer and innovation at U-M, comments, “Great things happen when we are successful at connecting transformative technologies with experienced and driven entrepreneurs. We are excited to see Fifth Eye raise the funding required to bring their early warning system to the bedside where it can improve patient outcomes.”

Source: Michigan Medicine

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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