Czech health tech start-up KARDI AI received EUR 1.5 million from investors for further development
The start-up KARDI AI, which aims to prevent heart health and optimize patient treatment through long-term ECG monitoring and early detection of possible cardiac arrhythmias using artificial intelligence, has now raised a further EUR 1.5 million from investors, bringing the total amount invested in the company to EUR 1.9 million. The funds will help the company to realize its ambitious plans aimed at dynamically increasing the number of users at an international level. The planned steps include, in particular, the introduction of a new version of the product with a higher level of approval from the regulatory authorities. This will support a faster expansion of the network of cooperating cardiologists, neurologists and general practitioners as well as the development of cooperations with other healthcare providers, retailers and health insurance companies. All this with the aim of simplifying and streamlining cardiac healthcare across Europe as quickly as possible.
The idea for the company originated in 2021 by Olomouc cardiologist doc. MD Tomáš Skála, Ph.D., FESC, and serial entrepreneur Stephen Burke after unsuccessfully searching for an existing more convenient way of long-term ECG measurement than the widely used Holter. They therefore decided to come up with their own professional solution that would be accurate, affordable to cardiology patients and the public for preventive use, simple to operate and comfortable to wear all day. They joined together with technologist Pavel Digaňa and product designer David Skala, and formed the company in early 2022. Two months later, they received an initial investment of EUR 350,000 from Bulgarian BrightCap Ventures, Czech Depo Ventures and small investors from family and friends. As part of the current investment round, the company received an additional 1,5 million EUR from a total of seven entities. Part of the amount was taken care of by existing investors, the remaining funds were brought by Purple Ventures from Brno, Soulmates Ventures from Ostrava, individual investors from the informal grouping Garage Angels and health tech focused Cleverage VC from Romania.
"Health tech is one of the focus sectors in our thesis. In KARDI AI, we saw a unique approach for solving the pressing issue of remote heart monitoring: continuously recording EKG data that meets the highest medical standards in an affordable and comfortable way. We are delighted to see KARDI AI's progress since our first investment!" Georgi Mitov, Managing Partner BrightCap Ventures
"KARDI AI perfectly reflects what we are looking for at Soulmates Ventures - innovative, meaningful and effective solutions with human impact. This project fills a significant gap in the market where the combination of advanced artificial intelligence and efficient data processing is key to transforming the quality of life of patients and increasing the efficiency of healthcare workers." Founder and Chairman of the Board of Soulmates Ventures, Hynek Sochor
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in developed countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, where the seriousness of the issue is emphasized by the creation of the National Cardiovascular Plan of the Czech Republic 2023–2033. It is aimed not only at cardiological care, but also at strengthening the healthy lifestyle of residents and programs for the early detection of diseases. According to data published this year by the European Society of Cardiology, cardiovascular disease has an estimated economic impact of 282 billion EUR, which represents 11% of total healthcare expenditure in the EU and exceeds the entire budget of the European Union. The number of patients with this type of problem is increasing every year and their treatment is very expensive. Early diagnosis is the key to more effective treatment.
However, existing preventive examinations are not sufficient; in most cases, long-term ECG measurements are required to detect incipient problems, ideally at different levels of physical performance. "We have developed a solution that enables remote long-term monitoring of heart activity and its evaluation through artificial intelligence. In addition to accuracy, affordability and simplicity are also great advantages. Anyone with a smartphone can use our service, and it costs about as much as a family subscription to Netflix per month for full real-time monitoring," says Stephen Burke, co-founder and CEO of KARDI AI. "Among other things, the obtained investments will allow us to expand more quickly into other markets and move from a product for patients with cardiovascular diseases to a widely used tool for preventive screening of heart activity. Experts claim there are 60 million people in the European Union alone with cardiovascular disease. If our product is available to everyone, it has the potential to save a large number of lives," adds co-founder KARDI AI doc. MD Tomáš Skála, Ph.D., FESC.
Thanks to the comfortable chest strap for heart monitoring, patients can easily perform ECG recordings during any activity and over any period of time. The belt is connected to an application on the cell phone, and reliable evaluation of the measurement data is ensured by advanced artificial intelligence software, which shares the data with the attending physician and alerts them immediately if cardiac arrhythmias are detected. KARDI AI is currently working with more than 70 cardiologists and neurologists who provide the company with valuable feedback for the development of functionalities.
ABOUT KARDI AI
KARDI AI Technologies s.r.o., established in 2022, aims to introduce an affordable diagnostic solution to the market, providing patients with a tool for heart health care that reduces the necessity for frequent doctor visits. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies and artificial intelligence, the company offers long-term continuous monitoring of patients' ECG, detecting arrhythmias and sharing comprehensive records, including clearly processed results, with attending physicians. The foundation for these measurements lies in an affordable, ergonomic, and practically inconspicuous chest strap repurposed from the fitness industry This device transmits ECG curve signals via Bluetooth to the KARDI AI application on a mobile phone. Currently available in the Czech Republic, the service boasts more than 70 collaborating cardiologists and 600 users. With an average of 150 recordings taken daily, the system has successfully identified arrhythmias in 23% of users. To date, over 250 million heartbeats have been processed through the system. Recognizing its significance, the start-up has earned a spot among the 50 most crucial global projects within the Health Tech World association, uniting international experts and innovators in health technology. Additionally, KARDI AI Technologies was a finalist in the global Med Tech Awards and Czech Social awards. The project has garnered substantial support, with investors contributing nearly EUR 1.9 million during two investment rounds.