When you imagine a hotbed for life science technology, Ontario, Canada isn’t at the top of most people’s list, but with 25 research and academic hospitals employing 10,000 researchers, Ontario is one of the largest biomedical research centers in North America. ApneaDx Inc. is one of those promising companies aiming to make a mark in 2013. The company raised $500,000 in 2012 and has secured $200,000 of additional seed funding from MaRS Innovation for 2013.
As patients suffering from sleep apnea (and their spouses) know, a clinical-quality sleep apnea monitoring system that is also user-friendly and reliable, remains an unmet clinical need. Diagnosis is challenging and many individuals are unaware they have the condition. The gold standard of care, overnight monitoring in a sleep laboratory, is expensive and inconvenient. Existing at-home treatments are bulky, cumbersome, and may need configuration by a technician so patients are very open to more options.
The detection device was invented by Douglas Bradley, Geoff Fernie and Hisham Alshear at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI), and spun off through support from MaRS Innovation. In the comfort of his own home, the patient wears what appears to be a lower profile CPAP type mask and breathing patterns are stored on a memory chip that can be downloaded by the physician and analyzed. The design allows for the diagnostic assessment to be easily repeated if necessary and is aimed to be more cost-effective than other options on the market.
According to a press release:
Preliminary studies with 150 patients directly comparing the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) values obtained using standard sleep lab equipment and AHI values obtained using ApneaDx demonstrate a high correlation between the ApneaDx device’s data and data collected through a sleep lab.
Looking forward to hearing more about commercialization of the device in Canada (2013) and the US (2014).
Company Profile: ApneaDx Inc.