|The central display station of the EarlySense System--Courtesy of EarlySense|
EarlySense has brought a third strategic investor into its latest financing round while simultaneously nabbing a partner in Japan. Conglomerate Mitsui & Co. has partnered exclusively with the startup to market its continuous, contact-free patient monitoring solution to Japanese homes and hospitals.
As part of the deal, Mitsui has invested $5 million in EarlySense to bring its Series F round that was announced in January up to $25 million. The venture arm of electronics conglomerate Samsung and patient-monitoring company Welch Allyn were already investors in the financing, with Samsung Ventures anchoring the deal with $10 million.
The three companies have put ample faith in EarlySense that it will be pivotal in the improvement of patient monitoring, a task that suffers currently from inconvenience for patients loaded with electrodes and wires as well as for nurses who must often manually monitor and track patient data.
The EarlySense Patient Safety Solution continuously monitors heart rate, respiratory rate and motion to provide early detection of patient deterioration. It also aims at preventing patient falls and pressure ulcers by monitoring when patients leave their bed and by facilitating turn protocols. It includes a sensor that is placed under the mattress and wirelessly connects to a system that analyzes the data.
Like Mitsui, Welch Allyn is a partner as well as an investor in EarlySense. Other investors in the latest round include Pitango Venture Capital, JK&B, Proseed and Noaber.
"The Japanese market has a strong need for advanced healthcare IT solutions to deal with the changing demographics," Mitsui GM and Social IT Director Jun-ichi Shibuta said in a statement. "We have invested several years in studying the market and the various technologies that could answer this need. In partnership with EarlySense, we can now considerably improve the health and wellness of millions of people in Japan."
The EarlySense Bedside Monitor was cleared by the FDA in January, and the company's Chair Sensor Solution, which monitors heart rate, respiratory rate and movement via a contact-free sensor, was cleared by the FDA in July 2014.
"Mitsui's dominant position in Japan will open many doors in this critically important market," EarlySense CEO Avner Halperin said in a statement. "Mitsui's addition to our growing list of prominent partners is also further proof, that with our contact-free sensor, EarlySense is strategically positioned to become the standard for health and wellness."
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