Coala Life is a startup born out of Stockholm that allows patients to “follow their hearts” with real-time cardiac analysis.
‘Preventative’ and ‘Predictive’ medicine have become two of the biggest buzzwords in healthcare in recent years. The shift to focus on prevention and treating the root causes of illness, rather than just the symptoms, has led to a rise in predictive tech/artificial intelligence devices and applications that aim to aid in this process.
At the same time, these technologies have proven valuable in gathering data and real-world evidence to progress healthcare and personalise it to patients’ individual needs for better outcomes.
They are also helping to take the strain away from healthcare systems and patients, who may need to travel and take time off work to visit a hospital or doctor.
When Coala Life’s serial entrepreneur founder and CEO Philip Siberg found himself in a hospital emergency room with heart problems due to the stress of his previous startup, the experience of being hooked up to analogue technology opened his eyes to the need for solutions that can “democratise cardiology.”
With decades of experience in the life sciences and medical device industry, Siberg founded Coala in 2014, a startup that has developed an ECG heart monitor – a diagnostic tool that can be used by both patients and doctors.
Heart failure affects about 920,000 people in the UK and heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death.
Detecting arrhythmias/irregular heartbeats early is an effective way to prevent and predict heart disease.
“As symptoms of heart rhythm disorder can be diffuse and intermittent, the Coala is ideal to detect or dismiss non-persistent rhythm disorders, powered by the patient,” says Peter Magnusson, a Swedish Senior physician and Cardiologist who has used the device.
About the size of a matchbox and without any wires or sticky electrodes, the patient simply holds the Coala over their heart and recieves an ECG report to the Coala smartphone app in only one minute.
Smart, cloud-based algorithms analyze heartbeat in real-time and detect for Atrial Fibrillation (based on P-wave detection and RR variability), 8 other arrhythmias and the ability for healthcare providers to detect murmurs.
The tiny device is as precise as outdated, clunky and expensive hospital equipment that does the same job.
The device has recently received FDA approval and $10m to expand to the US. The round was led by Blue, a Stockholm-based impact-led investment company.
“We’re now on route to go global with a mission to make it possible for everyone to monitor their hearts digitally to predict and prevent heart disease. It’s an honour to welcome Blue as a lead investor to support our journey to help win the battle against the world’s biggest public health threat”, said Siberg.
Coala was named one of five global Cool Vendors within the Health and Wellness market by Gartner Group in 2018 and recognized as one of the 100 Global Leaders in Digital Health by the Journal of Health.