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Wireless ECG invented at VU seeks ‘Jumpstart’ from business acceleration program

May. 30, 2013, 9:04 AM

A wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) invented at Vanderbilt University is the centerpiece of a startup company that has been chosen to be a part of the Jumpstart Foundry Class of 2013.

The company, called InvisionHeart, was founded by  inventors Susan Eagle, M.D., associate professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, and Franz Baudenbacher, Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, as well as entrepreneur Josh Nickols, Ph.D., MBA.

It is one of 10 young companies chosen to participate in Jumpstart Foundry’s 14-week-long, mentor-driven business acceleration program to be run this summer out of Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center.

The strategy for commercializing the ECG invention won top honors at last month’s TechVenture Challenge, an annual competition that pits

teams of Vanderbilt graduate, law and business students against each other.

“We are very pleased that InvisionHeart was selected to be a member of the Jumpstart Foundry class of 2013,” said Alan Bentley, assistant vice chancellor of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property at Vanderbilt.

“Jumpstart Foundry is a dynamic commercialization engine and has enjoyed considerable success — as have the businesses mentored by Jumpstart,” Bentley said. “The selection of InvisionHeart is another reflection of the capacity of Vanderbilt faculty members and students to create technology with significant commercial potential.”

InvisionHeart is a digital ECG platform that allows health care providers, first responders and 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.

“Most first responder units in the U.S. lack basic 12-lead ECG technology and only a fraction of those units are able to successfully transmit data to physicians,” Eagle said. Emergency medical service and hospital personnel “have even resorted to transmitting cellphone pictures of printed ECGs to cardiology specialists.”

“We are overcoming these barriers for a fractional cost of commercially available devices,” she said. “We expect our technology will be quite ‘disruptive’ in the market, and quite beneficial for patients with acute cardiac disorders.”

Watch a video about the invention here.

In addition to Eagle and Baudenbacher, the wireless ECG was developed by André Diedrich, M.D., Ph.D., research professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, Rene Harder, Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering, and Jonathan Whitfield, M.Eng., biomedical engineer.

The Jumpstart Foundry program began earlier this month and will conclude on Aug. 22 with Investor Day, which usually draws between 400 and 500 “angel investors” and venture capitalists.

Since Jumpstart Foundry was established in 2010, 65 percent of young companies that completed its programs are still in business, officials said.

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