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 …

Making wearables matter: Blood pressure monitoring could be the tipping point

Greg Yap Today’s wearables are still designed for the healthy and wealthy, not those who could benefit the most. Medical wearables offer the potential to collect health data and improve health via a combination of real-time AI and expert human intervention. Apple’s announcement of FDA clearance of its Watch for screening for irregular heart rhythms was meant to be groundbreaking. But its medical value right now remains limited and controversial. What will make the promise into reality? High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects between 30-50% of adult Americans, or 75-120 million people. It’s the No. 1 risk factor in deaths worldwide, and the No. 1 modifiable risk in heart disease and stroke, the top two worldwide causes of death. Despite …

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 …