Stroke maven Imperative Care launches digital health company for patients navigating recovery

After securing an FDA clearance earlier this year for its latest clot-removing hardware, Imperative Care is branching out with a new digital health company dedicated to life after a stroke.

As an independent spinout, Kandu Health will focus on assisting patients through recovery, with remote clinical navigators and support groups in addition to app-based education programs and resources, all tailored for the weeks and months following an acute intervention.

“The Kandu platform serves as a bridge for stroke survivors, guiding them along their care plan and beyond after leaving the hospital,” said Tudor Jovin, M.D., chief of neurology at Cooper University Health Care, who has joined Kandu as chief medical officer. 

“It also gives the survivor’s healthcare team new visibility and insights into the quality of life and long-term outcomes for patients who have returned home,” Jovin said in a release.

Imperative and Kandu estimate that about 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke annually. While most survive, specialized rehabilitation care can be necessary for months afterward, and about half of patients end up back in the hospital within the first year due to recurrent strokes, infections, falls and other injuries.

As the leading cause of acquired disability in the U.S., the condition affects about 8 million survivors and about 12 million care partners and family members, according to Kandu.

In early January, Imperative Care received an FDA clearance for its Zoom RDL access system, a device that allows a catheter to enter the radial artery from the wrist before it travels up to the brain to help remove a stroke-causing blood clot. The approach is designed to offer clinicians additional options for patients with anatomy that may complicate the more common method of tapping into the femoral artery of the thigh.

At the same time, the company announced it had completed its first clinical cases with the Zoom RDL, which provided entry for a large-bore aspiration catheter and was able to help restore blood flow to the brain in under 20 minutes.

Imperative Care previously collected $260 million in one of the largest venture capital rounds of 2021. Simultaneously, it announced the re-acquisition of Truvic Medical—a clot-removal company that began as a project within Imperative, before being spun out in early 2020. Truvic has since operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

At the time, Imperative Care said its series D proceeds would help build out a whole network of companies, with each tackling different areas of stroke care across the entire patient journey.