Silicon Valley upstart launches disposable, Band-Aid-sized vital sign patch

VitalPatch--Courtesy of Vital Connect

Vital Connect is rolling out a tiny, disposable vital sign adhesive biosensor that can monitor patients at home or in the hospital for as long as four days with one use. This is a smaller iteration of the startup's prior HealthPatch vital sign sensor, which the company argues is a best-in-class product. Vital Connect expects to sell the new patch, dubbed VitalPatch, on its own as well as under partner brands.

The startup's existing partners include patient monitoring player Omron and cloud-based clinical research company Medidata. Last month, imaging and patient monitoring giant Royal Philips ($PHG) announced its own vital sign patch launch--that will obviously be backed by its massive existing customer relationships.

"VitalPatch was designed for patient comfort, ease of use and to optimize clinical workflows," said Vital Connect chairman and CEO Dr. Nersi Nazari in a statement. "From hospitals to home, medical-grade wearable biosensors have enormous potential to improve patient outcomes, while lowering healthcare costs."

He continued on VitalPatch, "Ease of use and minimal disruption to established clinical routines are critical for rapid adoption of these devices in patient care settings. ... It is being deployed for various applications in 2016, including under our partners' brands."

The VitalPatch is a peel-and-stick, single-use device that's roughly the size and shape of a Band-Aid. It continuously measures and records single lead ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, skin temperature, posture, step count and fall detection with clinical accuracy. It sends data via Bluetooth on a mobile device to the Vital Connect platform to enable healthcare providers to access data and receive notifications.

It's powered by a disposable zinc air battery that lasts about three days with ECG use and about 4 days without it. The company said its measurements are as accurate as with the prior, larger iteration, HealthPatch.

Earlier this week, Vital Connect also said it has partnered with physIQ to combine its device data with that company's multivariate machine learning-based personalized physiology analytics, which are FDA cleared. The pair are in the midst of a pilot trial in heart failure patients in four Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals. It's also being used by pharma companies to track continuous ambulatory physiological data into their clinical trials.

"Digital technologies are disrupting and transforming medicine, allowing clinicians to monitor at-risk patients 24x7 while driving proactive, personalized care. The net result will be significant for improved quality of care and a more cost-efficient healthcare delivery system," cardiologist Dr. Steven Steinhubl, director of digital medicine for the Scripps Translational Science Institute, said in a statement on the deal.

Founded in 2011, San Jose, CA-based Vital Connect has raised about $21 million in venture capital, according to SEC filings.

- here is the VitalPatch announcement
- and here is the statement on the physIQ partnership