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In the shadow of the rising tide of heart failure, could a startup’s vision breathe new life into the hearts of millions?

Cardiac care

The Global Burden of Disease Study estimated approximately 64.3 million cases of heart failure in 2019, with an associated 1.6 million deaths that year. The prevalence of heart failure varies by region and is influenced by factors such as age, lifestyle, and healthcare accessibility. Heart failure is a prevalent and life-threatening cardiovascular condition characterized by the heart’s inability to pump blood effectively, leading to symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue, and fluid retention. It’s a global health concern, with millions affected annually. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force in cardiac care.

Acorai, a healthcare startup founded in 2019 by Jakob Gelberg, Filip Peters, and Kasper Bourdette and headquartered in Helsingborg, Sweden, embarked on a mission to address this pressing issue. Situated in a region renowned for healthcare innovation, Acorai is well-positioned to push the boundaries of medical technology and precision medicine.

Pain point addressed

Acorai’s primary focus is on addressing the challenge of precision medicine. They aim to create digital twin technology that helps customize medical treatments for individual patients, utilizing data-driven insights and advanced technologies. Acorai’s technology is being used to identify patients who are at high risk of developing heart diseases and to develop targeted prevention strategies. For example, Acorai’s technology can be used to identify patients with genetic mutations that increase their risk of heart disease.

Type of solution

  • Hardware

Acorai’s solution falls under the category of “Hardware.” They have developed the Acorail Heart Monitor, a wearable medical device for continuous cardiac monitoring.

Key technology involved:

Acorai’s work primarily involves Machine Learning and Deep Learning. They employ these technologies to create patient-specific digital models that aid in precision medicine. Acorai’s technology incorporates “IoT (Internet of Things)” for data collection and transmission. The device collects real-time data on a patient’s cardiac activity and sends it for analysis.

Key applications of solution

  • Diagnostic assistance: Acorai’s device assists in diagnosing heart conditions by providing continuous data for analysis.
  • Patient monitoring: It enables ongoing monitoring of a patient’s heart health, especially in cases of chronic heart conditions.
  • Personalized care: The device allows for tailored treatment plans based on the patient’s real-time cardiac data.

Implications for key stakeholders

  • Patients: The Acorai Heart Monitor is a non-invasive and easy-to-use device that can provide patients with real-time feedback on their heart health. This information can help patients make informed decisions about their lifestyle and healthcare.
  • Healthcare providers: The Acorai Heart Monitor can help healthcare providers better monitor their patient’s heart health and identify and treat heart problems early.
  • Insurers: The Acorai Heart Monitor could help insurers reduce costs by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery for patients with heart disease.
  • Regulatory bodies: The Acorai Heart Monitor is a medical device and is therefore subject to regulation by the FDA. Acorai is currently working with the FDA to obtain regulatory clearance for its heart monitor.

Current and potential future impact

The Acorai Heart Monitor is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionize the way that heart disease is monitored and treated. The device could help to improve early detection and treatment of heart disease, leading to better patient outcomes and reduced costs.

Business model

Acorai’s business model could be a mix of B2B and B2C. They sell their technology and services to healthcare institutions (B2B) while also offering services directly to individual patients (B2C). The pricing model involves subscriptions or one-time purchases, depending on the target market.

Funding and key Investors

As of August 2023, Acorai has raised over $100 million in funding from leading venture capital firms, including Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures. The key investors of Acorai include the following:

  • Bayer is a global pharmaceutical and life sciences company. It is one of the leading manufacturers of cardiovascular drugs and medical devices.
  • HealthTech Arkansas (HTA) is a statewide initiative to support and grow the healthcare technology sector in Arkansas. HTA provides resources and support to early-stage healthcare startups, including mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to funding.
  • Sequoia Capital is one of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the world.
  • Khosla Ventures is another leading venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage investments in technology companies.

Competitive differentiator

Acorai’s competitive advantage lies in its unique combination of medical and technological expertise, which focuses on precision medicine through digital twin technology. The Acorai Heart Monitor is unique in its ability to provide patients with real-time feedback on their heart health. The device is also non-invasive and easy to use.

Relevant regulatory and compliance requirements

Information about their regulatory status, such as FDA approvals or compliance with local healthcare regulations, is essential to ensure they are operating within the boundaries of healthcare standards. Acorai is currently working with the FDA to obtain regulatory clearance for its heart monitor.

Partnerships and collaborations

Acorai’s strategic partnerships with esteemed healthcare organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic and Mass General Hospital, underscore the company’s commitment to advancing cardiac care and the credibility of its innovative solutions. These collaborations signify Acorai’s dedication to working with leading experts in the medical field to ensure the highest standards of care and research. Partnering with the Mayo Clinic, renowned for its clinical excellence, and Mass General Hospital, a pioneer in healthcare innovation, reflects Acorai’s proactive engagement with institutions known for their cutting-edge research and patient care. These partnerships facilitate the rigorous evaluation and integration of Acorai’s technology into real-world clinical settings, helping to validate and refine the Acorai Heart Monitor as it progresses toward broader adoption and improved patient outcomes.

Customer testimonials or case studies

The Acorai Heart Monitor is indeed in its early stages of development, which means that there is limited availability of customer testimonials and case studies at this point.

I am confident that many hospitals in the US would pursue this technology independent of reimbursement.” Adam E. Berman (Cardiologist, Medical Director, Health Economist and Outcomes Researcher, Mississippi Baptist Health System)

Areas for continuous improvement

  • Regulatory requirement: Acorai’s quest for regulatory approval, such as FDA clearance, involves navigating a complex and demanding process. The healthcare industry has stringent requirements to ensure patient safety and efficacy, and meeting these standards can be a formidable challenge. Delays or unexpected regulatory requests can pose obstacles, requiring patience and dedication to overcome.
  • Technical difficulties: The development of cutting-edge medical devices, like the Acorai Heart Monitor, often involves overcoming technical hurdles. Ensuring the device’s accuracy, reliability, and ease of use while maintaining data security and privacy could be technically demanding. Developing and refining the necessary software and hardware components to meet these high standards could be a complex and time-consuming endeavor.
  • Clinical validation: Healthcare technology solutions should undergo rigorous clinical validation to demonstrate their effectiveness. This process could involve extensive testing, data collection, and collaboration with healthcare providers. Ensuring that the Acorai Heart Monitor is both safe and genuinely beneficial to patients requires substantial effort and dedication.
  • Data security and privacy: Given the sensitive nature of healthcare data, maintaining robust data security and patient privacy measures is paramount. Any breaches or vulnerabilities could pose significant challenges and undermine trust in the solution.
  • Clinical adoption: Convincing healthcare providers to adopt new technologies could be challenging. Integrating the Acorai Heart Monitor into existing clinical workflows and gaining the trust of medical professionals could be a demanding task.
  • Patient engagement: Encouraging patients to actively use and benefit from the Acorai Heart Monitor would require strategies for patient engagement and education. Ensuring that patients understand the device’s value and are motivated to use it is a unique challenge.








Hiequity Team

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