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VU-invented wireless ECG system receives FDA approval

Oct. 22, 2015, 11:20 AM

by Henry H. Ong

A wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) system invented at Vanderbilt University and marketed by a Nashville company, InvisionHeart, has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

The device was developed by a research team led by Franz Baudenbacher, Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Susan Eagle, M.D., associate professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and InvisionHeart’s chief medical officer. Nashville entrepreneur Josh Nickols, Ph.D., MBA, is the company’s co-founder and CEO.

The device addresses the widespread problem of slow and insecure transmission of ECG data within and between hospitals.

Its digital ECG platform allows health care providers, first responders and even patients to record and transmit real-time digital tracings of the heart’s electrical activity via a smartphone or tablet directly to physicians for interpretation.

What used to take hours now takes only minutes, which improves the survival rates of patients.

“This (FDA approval) is a significant milestone in the development of our technology and, more importantly, a breakthrough in our ability to serve patients where ECGs have been traditionally unavailable,” Nickols told BusinessWire earlier this year.

According to Alan Bentley, assistant vice chancellor of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Protection in the Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization (CTTC), about one Vanderbilt invention receives FDA approval every 12-18 months.

“The CTTC did a tremendous job streamlining the commercialization process,” Baudenbacher said.

In 2013, InvisionHeart won top honors at Vanderbilt’s TechVenture Challenge, an annual competition that pits teams of graduate, law and business students against each other to present strategies for commercializing different Vanderbilt inventions.

Also, InvisionHeart was chosen to be a part of the Jumpstart Foundry Class of 2013, which is a mentor-driven business acceleration program run by the Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center.

In 2014, InvisionHeart was selected as one of 10 companies nationwide to participate in Google’s Inaugural Demo Day at Google headquarters in California. Earlier this year, the company won the Southeastern Medical Device Association award for best startup company, and the Next award for Best Startup Company in Nashville.

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