Stat Health launches in-ear wearable that measures blood flow

With $5.1 million in seed funding, Stat Health today unveiled a 24/7 in-ear wearable device […]

With $5.1 million in seed funding, Stat Health today unveiled a 24/7 in-ear wearable device designed to measure blood flow to the head.

J2 Ventures, BonAngels Venture Partners and a diverse group of angel investors backed the company through the seed funding. Stat Health also received grant funding from the U.S. Air Force.

Boston-based Stat Health designed its wearable to help understand symptoms like dizziness, brain fog, headaches, fainting and fatigue upon standing. These common symptoms can indicate illnesses like long COVID and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). They also may signal myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and other orthostatic syndromes.

According to Stat Health, reduced blood flow to the brain upon standing causes the symptoms for these illnesses.

The company clinically tested its offering at Johns Hopkins and it was peer-reviewed in the March 2023 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). Stat Health said it demonstrated the ability to predict fainting minutes before it happens.

Why the ear?

Stat Health said it used an optical sensor, rather than ultrasound, to fit its technology into a wearable form factor. It taps into a shallow ear artery to measure a proxy to ultrasound-derived cerebral blood flow.

“It’s well understood that the ear is a biometric gold mine because of its close proximity to the brain and major arteries. This allows for new biometrics such as blood flow to head and blood pressure trend* to be possible,” said Daniel Lee, co-founder and CEO of Stat Health. “In addition, the ear is largely isolated from data corruption caused by arm motion – a problem that plagues current wearables and prevents them from monitoring heart metrics during many daily tasks. The ear is really the ideal window into the brain and heart.”

How Stat Health developed its wearable

Stat Health said its wearable constitutes half the rigid volume of Bose sleepbuds. It’s even smaller than some invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids, the company says. The system features advanced optical sensors, an accelerometer, a pressure sensor and temperature sensors. It also features AI edge computing, multi-day battery life and a micro solar panel.

The wearable, capable of 24/7 in-ear wear, co-exists with more than 90% of devices that go in/around the ear. It can remain in the ear while sleeping and showering. Because of its solar charge capabilities, it may not require removal to charge.

Stat Health said its earpiece auto-detects a user’s every stand to track how heart rate, blood pressure trend and blood flow to the head change in response. The device distills all this information into an “Up Score” to track time spent upright. Its “Flow Score” helps users pace their recovery by watching for blood flow abnormalities. The device learns about each user’s unique body to provide personalized coaching for healthy lifestyle choices.

“Nobody has realized the ear’s true potential due to the miniaturization and complex systems design needed to make a practical and user-friendly ear wearable,” said Lee. “After multiple engineering breakthroughs, we’ve succeeded in unlocking the ear to combine the convenience and long-term nature of wearables with the high fidelity nature of obtrusive clinical monitors. No other device comes close along the axes of wearability and cardiac signal quality, which is why we believe Stat is truly the world’s most advanced wearable.”

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