Instant biomeasures and virtual care software can prevent heart disease and help millions of patients

I first met Bodyport founders Corey Centen and Sarah Smith during a 10 minute Y Combinator interview in Mountain View, California in April of 2015. They came in holding a first version of the Bodyport device. Corey stepped onto the prototype that looked like otherwise an ordinary bathroom scale, and showed me how they were able to get important heart-related biomeasures instantly. He was nervous, and we could tell since his pulse was in the low 100’s. These interviews are often quite nerve-wracking!

But from that moment, it was clear this was a special team that had created a special device that could change the course of healthcare.

We funded them. And later, as a part of Initialized, we funded them again at the seed stage, as they built the team and the tech coming out of YC.

Today, we’re excited to be part of an $11.2 million Series A investment round along with Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Playground Global and Kapor Capital, and I’m excited to be a part of the board. This investment brings Bodyport’s total funding to $15.8 million.

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This is the Bodyport smart scale.

After years of untreated diabetes, my own mother had to have bypass heart surgery several years ago and she now lives with heart disease. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States today. And the hardest part to stomach about that fact is that it is largely preventable.

Five years ago, Corey Centen and Sarah Smith set out to transform our current approach to care by making it preventative rather than reactive. Historically, the United States and other countries have treated heart disease through costly medical interventions following a cardiac event like a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease is a leading cause of hospitalizations and is associated with healthcare costs of more than $200 billion per year.

What Corey and Sarah wanted to do was to make treatment proactive by providing advanced monitoring techniques and capabilities in your home, as opposed to time-consuming visits to the doctor’s office.

Bodyport does this through a device that seamlessly fits into a daily behavior we all know and are familiar with — getting on a bathroom scale. The company designed the Bodyport Cardiac Scale, a non-invasive scale that captures cardiac function and can detect early signs of heart disease in just 20 seconds. No clumsy wearables are necessary. No cumbersome Bluetooth pairing.

Open the box, and just get on the scale. It’s easier than any other product on the market.

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Once the data is in, the Bodyport software platform gives healthcare providers everything they need for virtual care. Simple onboarding leads to better data collection, smarter analysis, and ultimately higher quality standard of care for patients.

With the funding, they’re also announcing a collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to prevent avoidable hospitalizations and develop novel diagnostic biomarkers for the early detection of cardiovascular disease.

They’re the right founders to be doing this, as they’ve had a track record of more than 10 years in the space and they previously founded and sold a startup, Atreo Medical, to Medtronic that assists with CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Bodyport has already several clinical studies of its device, and is seeking FDA clearance as a class II medical device.

During this pandemic, Bodyport’s work is creating an important lifeline or connection between doctors and patients who are more at-risk with COVID-19 co-morbidities. The scale is supporting remote monitoring of cardiovascular health for the patients who need it most.

I’m very excited for the future of preventative medicine and for the future this product has in the marketplace. Bodyport has the chance to help fight on the front lines of a very deadly disease that affects so many people.

Learn more about Bodyport here: