HeartHero taps VivaQuant’s ECG software for its portable AED

HeartHero's low-cost AED is designed to fit in a purse or backpack, the company says. (HeartHero)

HeartHero, a medical device startup developing a portable automated external defibrillator, has decided to license VivaQuant’s electrocardiogram technology for the detection of potentially fatal heart arrhythmias.

The Denver-based HeartHero’s AED is designed to fit easily into a purse or a backpack, the company said, while costing less than current devices on the market and running on consumer-available batteries.

The startup also plans to have its AED pair with a smartphone to automatically alert emergency medical services, in addition to providing audible step-by-step directions. It aims to submit its 1.3-pound device to the FDA for approval in 2019.

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VivaQuant, meanwhile, is a St. Paul, Minnesota-based provider of clinical research services, including safety assessments of interval changes, arrhythmia liability and burden during trials of drugs and medical devices.

Its Rhythm Express analytics platform uses multidomain signal processing to remove up to 95% of noise in ambulatory ECGs to improve arrhythmia and cardiac interval accuracy. VivaQuant will provide HeartHero with embedded algorithms for processing ECGs as well as services for analyzing ECG data.

This past summer, HeartHero raised $1.5 million in seed money from angel investors and an unnamed venture capital firm. That money joined $500,000 from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Canadian PIC Investment Group, its first minority investment in the U.S.

HeartHero cites statistics from the American Heart Association, which say sudden cardiac arrests result in the deaths of more than 350,000 people in the U.S. annually, with nearly 70% occurring at home without access to an AED.