With a new $20 million in funding, electronic stethoscope startup Eko wants to research your beating heart

It’s hard to compete against the Apple Watch or even an app on your phone when it comes to personal heart-rate monitors these days. However, Eko, a startup best known for creating an electronic stethoscope to monitor your heart rhythm, hopes further research and development will help give its more clinically promoted device a leg up as a leader in the fight against heart disease. To get there, the company recently closed on a $20 million round of Series B financing, led by Artis Ventures. New and returning investors in the round also include NTT Venture Capital (NTTVC), Mayo Clinic, XTX Ventures. On top of that, the company has teamed up with some well-known health partners, such as the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern …

What leading HealthTech VCs are investing in

Why is tech still aiming for the healthcare industry? It seems full of endless regulatory hurdles or stories of misguided founders with no knowledge of the space, running headlong into it, only to fall on their faces. Theranos is a prime example of a founder with zero health background or understanding of the industry — and just look what happened there! The company folded not long after founder Elizabeth Holmes came under criminal investigation and was barred from operating in her own labs for carelessly handling sensitive health data and test results. But sometimes tech figures it out. It took years for 23andMe to breakthrough FDA regulations — it’s since more than tripled its business and moved into drug discovery. …

Neurobehavioral health company BlackThorn pulls in $76 million from GV to treat mental disorders

There are numerous challenges to finding effective treatments for mental disorders. However, BlackThorn Therapeutics, a neurobehavioral health company using machine learning to create personalized medicine for mental health, is betting its technological approach to finding drugs that work will put it ahead of the competition. Lucky for them, GV and other biotech investors have shown they agree by adding another $76 million in Series B financing to the coffers. Today, BlackThorn announced the close of its $76 million Series B round from GV, Scripps Research, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and a bevy of other biotech investment firms, including Polaris Partners, Premier Partners, Vertex Ventures HC, Alexandria Venture Investments, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Biomatics Capital. BlackThorn has …

Using full-body MRIs, Ezra can now detect 11 cancers in men and 13 in women

When Ezra first launched about six months ago, the company was using magnetic resonance imaging machines to test for prostate cancer in men. But the company’s founder, Emi Gal, always had a larger goal. “One of the biggest problems in cancer is that there’s no accurate, fast, painless way to scan for cancer anywhere in the body,” Gal said at the time of his company’s debut. It’s hard to overstate how vitally important early cancer screening is for patients. The American Cancer Society estimates 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. in 2019. For 600,000 people that diagnosis will be a death sentence. Roughly half of cancer patients are detected in the late stage of the disease …