CloudCath nets $12M to develop its at-home dialysis infection monitor

A startup has raised $12 million to fund its real-time system for monitoring patients undergoing dialysis at home and calling in potential complications.

CloudCath’s device analyzes and measures the fluids drained from the abdomens of patients with end-stage renal disease. During a peritoneal dialysis treatment, the wireless system integrates with the drainage line to detect any deviations in the spent dialysate fluid and then notifies healthcare providers.

The San Francisco-based company’s series A round was led by Capital Integral with additional backing from FundRx, The Capital Partnership, Coconut Tree Investments and Stanford University’s StartX Fund as well as additional strategic and individual investors. The proceeds will also support the development of additional applications, according to CloudCath.

“End-stage renal disease, one of the costliest chronic diseases in the U.S., is devastating to patients,” said co-founder and CEO Aly ElBadry. “The CloudCath technology enables patients and caregivers to easily monitor fluid parameters for early signs of complications, including infection, in real time, allowing dialysis providers to intervene much earlier than the existing standard of care.”

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“This funding will speed commercialization of the CloudCath system, pending FDA clearance, and will also support our goal of offering remote monitoring for infectious disease management in multiple additional applications,” ElBadry said in a statement.

Currently, the quality of excess fluid is evaluated visually: Patients are instructed to read written text through a bag of spent dialysate and seek medical attention if the fluid is too cloudy, which could be a sign of peritonitis infection, according to the National Kidney Foundation (PDF). CloudCath estimates its sensor could help catch infections early and potentially reduce three-quarters of related hospitalizations.

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“Studies have shown that home-based kidney care generally improves outcomes, improves the patient experience and provides a much better value to dialysis care providers,” said Glenn Chertow, chairman of CloudCath’s clinical advisory board and chief of the division of nephrology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

“But many patients lack the confidence to perform dialysis at home, in part due to the lack of monitoring and the disconnect between the home environment and the care teams,” Chertow said. “Moreover, they fear an infection that may lead to pain and require hospitalization. With the CloudCath device, we expect to see wider adoption of peritoneal dialysis by patients and nephrologists, and longer, safer, reliance on home dialysis therapy where kidney transplantation is not feasible.”