Bloomer, a Massachusetts-based Femtech company, has raised $3 million in seed funding for its bra-like ECG tech. The round was led by Material Impact, with participation from One Brave Idea and several angel investors, including Boston Scientific co-founder John Abele.
Adam Sharkawy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Material Impact and a former cardiovascular healthcare executive, will be serving as Bloomer’s Chair of the Board.
The MIT-spinoff is tackling the leading cause of death in women with the world’s first electrocardiogram device that looks and feels like a bra. By embedding patented, medical-grade fabric sensors and machine learning algorithms into a garment that women wear every day, Bloomer provides users and doctors with unprecedented access to heart health data, reports Business Wire.
“As women in STEM, we are keenly aware that digital health and AI tools are tuned to the people who are represented in the datasets. So when we realized that women have been woefully underrepresented in clinical research, especially in cardiovascular diseases, we had to take action,” said Alicia Chong, CEO of Bloomer. “At Bloomer we are eliminating healthcare imbalances by replacing an uncomfortable piece of plastic with a beautiful piece of clothing that empowers women to feel sexy instead of sick. This seamless and comfortable monitoring experience prevents algorithm biases and unlocks new, sex-specific digital biomarkers that can more accurately provide personalized care for patients.”
The femtech sector has shown explosive growth, with close to $1 billion of funding going into femtech startups in 2019 alone. Forbes predicts that the space is poised to become a $25 billion industry within the next five years.
“Bloomer addresses some gaping needs in cardiovascular health, one of the largest spaces in healthcare overall,” said Sharkawy. “There has been little innovation in the past several decades in clinical grade remote cardiac monitoring. Bloomer’s current soft electronics technology combined with its elegant form factor should allow for effective remote monitoring that patients will actually wear. In addition, the high-fidelity data they will collect will help to fill a large void in female-specific datasets, which may drive better cardiovascular therapies for women. At Material Impact, we aim to invest in category-creating companies poised to solve some of the world’s largest problems. Alongside other investments in femtech, we are dedicated to building a focus in women’s health.”
Bloomer has already had early traction with women’s heart programs at leading hospitals in the Boston area. With paid pilots planned for 2020, Bloomer will use its seed funding to expand its pilot program, collect key clinical data and further develop the commercial product and user experience.
Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global is also an Advisor to Bloomer. She was instrumental in helping the MIT-spinoff translate its big idea into a business.
“Bloomer is arming women with the tools they need to take their heart health into their own hands. It’s when we can understand how our lifestyle choices impact our health outcomes that we truly have the power to change our lives for the better,” said Huffington.
Bloomer was founded in 2017 by graduates of MIT’s Computational Cardiovascular Research Group and Integrated Design and Management cardiovascular program.