Element Science nets $145M for its wearable defibrillator patch

Heart-focused wearable developer Element Science has raised $145.6 million to catapult forward its monitoring platform focused on tracking high-risk patients as they transition from the hospital to their homes.

The new funds are expected to carry the San Francisco-based company’s initial product—a low-profile personal defibrillator patch named Jewel—through clinical testing and its eventual commercial launch, if things go smoothly.

The proceeds will also support the development of a family of digital wearables based on the same platform, aimed at inpatient settings and remote diagnosis of heart exacerbations.

The series C round was led by Deerfield Healthcare and Qiming Venture Partners USA, with additional backing from Cormorant Asset Management and Invus Opportunities. Element’s previous investors Third Rock Ventures and Google Ventures also participated.

“Given the broad potential for the Jewel platform to save and improve the lives of patients worldwide, we welcome the strong support of this impressive consortium of investors,” Element’s founder, president and CEO Uday Kumar said in a statement.

Kumar, an electrophysiologist, was formerly an entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock and also helped found cardiac monitoring company iRhythm Technologies. He also serves on the faculty at Stanford University’s Byers Center for Biodesign.

The Jewel personal defibrillator is designed to detect and correct life-threatening arrhythmias in patients with an elevated, temporary risk, such as following treatment for heart failure or due to other conditions. The company estimates that more than 500,000 patients in the U.S. fit into this category on an annual basis, while sudden cardiac death kills about 325,000 people per year.

“We believe that Element Science’s ability to apply cutting-edge principles of data science and patient-centered design holds great potential in disrupting the way these cardiovascular patients are monitored, diagnosed and treated,” said Andrew ElBardissi, partner at Deerfield Management. “We are delighted to support the company as it works to bring life-saving therapies to patients, while changing the paradigm of treatment in multi-billion dollar global markets.”

Element was founded in 2011; its Jewel wearable cardioverter defibrillator is designed to be comfortable and discreet, while providing monitoring during daily activities such as showering and sleeping.

“We see massive opportunities to significantly impact patient health with the proprietary Jewel platform in the U.S. and Europe, as well as large, underserved markets such as China,” said Christopher Shen, managing partner at Qiming Venture Partners USA.