Digital health startup Respiree has raised S$4.7 million in Series Seed equity funding led by Oriza Greenwillow Technology Fund, SEEDS capital and high-net-worth investors that include the she1K angel syndicate.
A spinoff from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Respiree develops and provides AI-assisted virtual care support for monitoring and managing patient deterioration across multiple spaces within the broader cardio-respiratory care continuum and that includes post-operative care, in-floor care, hospital-at-home services, post-discharge services and outpatient chronic disease management.
Seeing growing demand from its clients, Respiree aims to utilize the funds raised to scale the use and development of its AI-assisted virtual care platform across markets including the US, Australia and Singapore. Respiree will also expand its platform across the care continuum that includes post-operative, in-floor, hospital-at-home, post-discharge and outpatient chronic disease management.
Digital solutions to improve patient outcomes
Lung physiology provides a leading indicator to predict clinical deterioration. Unfortunately, lung physiology is also often missing in most virtual care and remote-patient monitoring systems.
In a recent accepted submission to the American Thoracic Society 2022 International Conference, Respiree was able to show how advanced changes in lung physiology alone correlated to a clinical deterioration, while traditional patient data that were presently collected at bed-side (e.g. heart rate and pulse oximetry) were indicating normal readings. Using Respiree’s added informatics, healthcare workers can now get a more holistic and timely view of change in patient status, thus, improving patient recovery process and even saving lives.
Respiree’s ability to capture and use lung physiology in its virtual care platforms through unobtrusive cardio-pulmonary wearables stems from technologies licensed from A*STAR. The lung physiology data from Respiree’s sensors are captured alongside traditional patient data such as heart rate and pulse oximetry and analyzed visually in real-time on Respiree’s in-house developed iRIS informatics software system.
Respiree has worked with Changi General Hospital (CGH) to trial and validate its devices in a clinical setting for patients with respiratory diseases and at CGH’s Swab-and-Send-Home Hospital Isolation Facility (HOSIF) during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are plans to extend the applications for wider clinical use at the hospital.
“The digitalization of healthcare presents an immense opportunity to improve patient outcomes and reduce cost wastage seen in much larger global markets. Although often unmeasured, the understanding of both lungs and hearts will become increasingly important in the post-Covid era. At Respiree, we aim to spearhead the transformation of the healthcare ecosystem by providing digital tools to better understand, treat and manage such patient conditions,” said Founder and in-coming Chief Executive Officer Dr Gurpreet Singh.
”Respiree’s virtual care and remote-patient monitoring platform is our vision to bring forth a radical boost in performance of AI-assisted virtual care and digital therapeutics by combining continuous lung physiology with traditional patient data,” he added.
Bringing solutions from bench to bedside
Respiree has signed collaborations with leading international diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies to deploy its platform for data and AI-driven projects. Respiree has also received advisory support in its fund raise by the PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore’s Venture Hub.
Respiree’s care platforms are now present in markets that include Singapore, the US and Australia. Respiree’s solution was used in local hospitals in Singapore in 2020 and 2021 to monitor COVID-19 patients. Respiree has received approval from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration and is CE-marked under the Medical Device Directive. Respiree is also in the process of securing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration as it aims to commercialize in the US.
“We are impressed with the traction that Respiree has received among various healthcare stakeholders and multi-national corporations, including partnerships with AstraZeneca, National University Hospital and Changi General Hospital in Singapore. We are excited to be the lead investor in the Series Seed raise and be part of Respiree’s global growth journey as the company strives to transform cardio-respiratory patient care services,” said Dr. Wong Mun Yew, Managing Partner of Oriza Greenwillow Technology Fund.
“Respiree’s AI-assisted medical-grade wearable device has the right balance of accuracy, user-friendliness, and cost efficiency in the spectrum of cardio-pulmonary monitoring applications. This will meet the growing demand of clinicians and patients alike to utilize digital technology to explain, predict and influence health-related outcomes. SEEDS Capital looks forward to supporting Respiree in its efforts to validate and expand the use cases of its platform technology, and assisting its growth into markets like the US and Australia,” said Ms Tan Kaixin, General Manager of SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore.
“I am pleased to see the confidence that investors have in A*STAR’s spinoff in this successful seed round funding. We are supportive of our spinoffs and it is always heartening to watch their journey from being receptacles of technologies and IP from A*STAR and other public sector research performers into successful companies that benefit the economy and society. I look forward to seeing Respiree build on this milestone and enhance its made-in-Singapore solutions, to improve health outcomes for patients around the world,” said Professor Tan Sze Wee, Assistant Chief Executive (Enterprise), A*STAR.
“Respiree is at the forefront of virtual care platforms, improving patient outcomes through innovative use of their technology. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Respiree and its founders on their growth journey making a strong positive impact on the global healthcare ecosystem” said PwC Singapore’s Venture Hub Leader, Patrick Yeo. “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dr. Gurpreet Singh and being able to scientifically and clinically validate Respiree’s technology. We look forward to providing continued support to Respiree on their journey of positively impacting patients and patient care globally, and making a difference,” added PwC Singapore’s Health Industries and Venture Hub’s HealthTech Leader, Dr. Zubin Daruwalla.
Respiree is a deep tech startup that provides AI-assisted virtual care platforms used to support monitoring and managing clinical deterioration across multiple spaces within healthcare’s care continuum, e.g, post-operative, in-floor, hospital-at-home, post-discharge and outpatient chronic disease management.
Respiree’s cardiopulmonary wearable sensors and physiologic analysis software are now medically approved by Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA), the European Commission’s CE certification under the Medical Device Directive and Australia’s Therapeutics Good Administration (TGA). Respiree is also in the process of securing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commercialize its product globally. For more information, visit www.respiree.com or connect with them at email@example.com.
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s lead public sector R&D agency. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit the economy and society. As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by improving societal outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability. A*STAR plays a key role in nurturing scientific talent and leaders for the wider research community and industry. A*STAR’s R&D activities span biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering, with research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis. For ongoing news, visit www.a-star.edu.sg.
About Oriza Greenwillow Technology Fund
Recently launched in Aug 2021, the Oriza Greenwillow Technology Fund is a venture capital fund set up jointly by Greenwillow Capital Management Pte Ltd, an MAS-licensed fund management company based in Singapore, and Oriza Holdings, an investment firm from China with assets under management exceeding RMB100 billion. The Fund invests in early-stage technology start-ups in Singapore and the fast-growing markets of Southeast Asia, with a primary focus on the smart cities and health-tech sectors. For more information, please visit www.greenwillow.com.sg.
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