PhysIQ just raised a $4.6 million round to further develop software used to monitor machinery, like nuclear cooling pumps, into a platform designed to track human health.
“What we are doing is bringing personalized predictive analytics to healthcare,” said CEO and founder Gary Conkright.
“The wearable device market is developing very, very quickly and a lot of new sensors are coming on the market,” said Conkright. “It’s creating a tsunami of data. But that data without processing is not very useful,” said Conkright.
Originally, developed to monitor and predict failure in critical industrial machinery like nuclear cooling pumps, jet engines and locomotive engines, the PhysIQ technology has been repurposed for monitoring the health of patients.
The PhysIQ platform seeks to make sense of multiple health data sets, like heart rate, respiration rate, oxymetry, blood pressure, activity, and temperature, by creating a baseline of an individual’s physiological data. Once the physiological baseline is established, the platform uses predictive analytics to alert doctors to any health changes outside what should be. To simplify its analysis, the platform boils down all datasets into one index number.
“For a healthy person their index basically does not change. If that person develops pneumonia or their lungs fill up with liquid do to congestive heart failure, the index changes,” said Conkright. “If it can’t predict what it is seeing in real time that indicates a change that ought to be examined.”
The software is not a diagnostic tool, rather it is a complex alert system designed to help doctors keep tabs on high-risk patients. PhysIQ is being tested on patients with congestive heart failure.
“Congestive heart failure patients, as they get toward the end of their disease, they go in and out of the hospital a lot, and they take a toll and cost a lot,” said Conkright. “If we can give doctors a heads-up we can maybe reduce costs and patient suffering.”
But ultimately, the platform is not disease specific: “The platform product is a cloud-based analytics API driven software that can accept data from any device,” said Conkright.
“When those measurements, continuous measurements, come available we want to be able to quickly use them. If today you have six data feeds and tomorrow you have a new data feed, lets say CO2, it basically accepts the stream and sets up an new baseline,” said Conkright.
PhysIQ wants to use the general-purpose nature of the software to analyze data from all kinds of wearables. “We want to license that technology our to anyone who can use it. We want to be Switzerland, so to speak, and license it out to everyone,” said Conkright.
The software might also be potentially used to guide the training of performance athletes. Runners, cyclists, swimmers and numerous other performance based athletes train for competition in ways mostly measure by feel. An analytics platform that alerts performance athletes to issues with recovery or over exertion could improve the efficiency of training greatly.
“You train everyday and as you know you can over train and you lose cardiac pulmonary efficiency. The right training could be applied with the platform to train better,” said Conkright.
But before the technology is rolled out for recreational uses, Conkright said their sole focus is implementing it in a medical setting.
Currently, the technology is in the process of being submitted to the FDA for approval. To further develop the technology Conkright said they plan to raise a Series B round of funding this fall. The company has eight full-time employees and they plan to grow to 12 employees soon.