Digital stethoscope maker Eko nets $65M to develop home telehealth offerings

As the use of telehealth continues to surge—promising a way to deliver distanced care in spite of the coronavirus, and potentially a new normal in a post-pandemic world—the makers of a digital, connected stethoscope have raised new funds to expand its remote disease screening programs.

Eko secured $65 million in a series C venture capital round, led by Highland Capital Partners and Questa Capital, alongside additional backers in Artis Ventures, DigiTx Partners, NTTVC, 3M Ventures and other investors.

The proceeds will be used to further develop the use of the company’s devices in hospitals and clinics—and fuel the launch of an artificial intelligence-powered monitoring platform for patients at home with a focus on heart and lung conditions.

“The explosion in demand for virtual cardiac and pulmonary care has driven Eko’s rapid expansion at thousands of hospitals and healthcare facilities, and we are excited for how this funding will accelerate the growth of our cardiopulmonary platform,” Eko co-founder and CEO Connor Landgraf said.

The company’s Duo stethoscope captures both heart sounds and electrocardiogram readings, and is connected to an AI program that received an FDA clearance at the top of this year to detect the signs of atrial fibrillation and heart murmurs.

RELATED: AstraZeneca taps digital stethoscope maker Eko to support its heart failure research

“The massive market need for telehealth is not going away,” said Rob Toews, principal at Highland Capital Partners. “Regulatory and reimbursement changes have been underway to support this growth. Eko is uniquely positioned in this space because their technology addresses crucial clinical needs that other companies cannot satisfy, and Eko’s platform is very easy to deploy and scale.”

Eko’s ultimate goal is to make its AI analyses a standard inclusion to every routine physical exam performed in a doctor’s office—while at the same time helping people to avoid clinic visits altogether when possible.

In October, Eko teamed up with 3M to develop a digital version of its ubiquitous Littmann stethoscope brand, used by healthcare professionals worldwide. Built off of 3M’s cardiology-focused model, the digital version aims to amplify subtle heart sounds up to 40 times while also canceling out unwanted background noise.