Galway’s Bluedrop Medical raises €3.7m for diabetic foot ulcer device

19 Sep 2019644 Views

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Image: Bluedrop Medical

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The start-up has developed an AI-powered temperature monitoring device that enables clinics to monitor high-risk patients.

Today (19 September), Galway-based start-up Bluedrop Medical announced that it had secured €3.7m in funding with the support of the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN).

An initial seed investment of €1.2m was led by HBAN’s medtech syndicate, which invested €340,000 in the round.

Enterprise Ireland and the Western Development Commission also invested in the round, before an additional €2.5m grant was awarded through the European Innovation Council.

Medical device

The medtech firm focuses on the management of one of the “most devastating complications” of diabetes – foot ulcers caused by nerve damage.

The company was founded by entrepreneurs Chris Murphy and Simon Kiersey, who were joined by CTO Gavin Corley and a team of experts in electronic medical devices, cloud software and AI.

The team is developing user-focused solutions for the diabetic foot, an issue that results in hundreds of thousands of amputations worldwide each year. In Ireland, there are 540 amputations carried out on patients with diabetes every year, according to the company.

‘Our system could save the Irish health service €40m per year on treatments associated with diabetic foot ulcers’
– CHRIS MURPHY

Bluedrop Medical has developed an AI-powered temperature monitoring device that enables clinics to monitor their high-risk patients. The device is used by the patient to perform a daily foot scan in their home in less than 30 seconds.

These scans can be reviewed remotely, using advanced algorithms which reveal if the patient shows signs of a developing foot ulcer, instructing them to contact a local clinic if necessary.

Expansion plans

With the funding, Murphy, Kiersey and Corley will be able to continue research and development, carrying out clinical trials. The company plans to bring the product to market in Europe and the US.

The company will also use the funding to expand its team, hiring 10 people over the next two years. These roles are in the areas of software development, quality and regulatory affairs, clinical trial management and commercial strategy development.

Murphy, CEO of Bluedrop Medical, said: “We founded this company with the aim of improving outcomes and reducing the treatment costs associated with chronic disease. Foot ulcers are one of the most devastating complications associated with diabetes.

“They are expensive to treat and frequently result in amputation. Our system could save the Irish health service €40m per year on treatments associated with diabetic foot ulcers and we are hoping to collaborate with them to achieve this goal. We estimate the total worldwide market for our device to be more than €3bn.”

HBAN

Dr Colin Henehan, board member of Bluedrop Medical and HBAN medtech syndicate member, said: “When we started doing our due diligence on Bluedrop Medical, we were very impressed by the focus and drive of the team and the size of the market that they will be tapping into. Chris and Simon have developed a class-leading device for early ulcer detection, resolving a huge unmet clinical need.”

Henehan also commended the fact that Bluedrop’s device focuses on prevention, rather than treatment, which removes the cost burden on governments and insurers, as well as patients.

HBAN is currently on the look-out for more regionally based business angels to invest in high-potential start-ups similar to Bluedrop Medical.

The organisation is hosting information sessions in Castlebar on 25 September and in Cork on 14 October. These events will target new angels looking for structured and quality deal flow.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com