Making significant commercial break-throughs in a range of devices covering monitored breathing situations such as sleep, exercise and baby monitoring in clinical and home locations.
More about BiancaMed
Getting a good night’s sleep sets the tone for how most people face the day and most of us can spend up to one-third of our lives asleep. So, when the body doesn’t get the rest it needs, it can have serious consequences for health and well-being. Over 60 million people in Europe and the US are estimated to have sleep disordered breathing such as apnoea. Many of those with sleep disorders are unaware they have the condition and as a result around 85% of sufferers are currently undiagnosed. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is a cardio-respiratory disorder with long term health implications such as the increased likelihood of hypertension, heart failure and coronary arterial disease.
One of NovaUCD’s spin-outs, the medical technology company, BiancaMed, is making significant commercial break-throughs and attracting serious investors for its range of devices covering monitored breathing situations such as sleep, exercise and baby monitoring in clinical and home locations.
BiancaMed was co-founded by Dr Philip de Chazal, Dr Conor Hanley and Professor Conor Heneghan as a spin-out from the UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering in 2003.
By early 2005 BiancaMed’s screening technology, which it had licensed to US-based
Del Mar Reynolds Medical to develop the LifeScreen Apnea™ product, secured Food and Drug Administration clearance enabling this medical device to be marketed in the United States. LifeScreen Apnea™ permits cardiologists to screen for obstructive sleep apnea using only the overnight recordings of a patient’s cardiac signals recorded in the individual’s home. This product is now used by leading physicians in Argentina, Ireland, UK and the US.
The company employs 20 people and is based at NovaUCD on the Belfield campus. It also has an office in Sunnyvale, California. The US represents around 50% of the world market for sleep apnoea devices.
In 2009 the company announced a new funding package of €6 million led by pan-European venture capital firm Seventure Partners. Three of BiancaMed’s existing investors, ePlanet Ventures, Enterprise Ireland and ResMed also participated in this round.
With this capital, BiancaMed expanded its core team, and accelerated the launch of several innovative consumer products with existing ‘go-to-market’ partners targeting the wellness space. BiancaMed developed and is now commercialising SleepMinder™, an accurate, contactless and convenient device for the measurement of sleep and breathing in the home.
“SleepMinder™ is a motion sensor that is able to monitor chest-wall movement, physical movement of people turning in their sleep and even surface movement of the skin indicating heart movement,” explains BiancaMed, CEO, Conor Hanley.
The device is sensitive enough not to confuse two people sleeping in the one bed and could take its readings even through sheets. The company is also currently in discussions with the US regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, to secure approval for use of SleepMinder™ in medical applications.
With a global sleep market currently estimated at around $20 billion, BiancaMed’s future should be very sweet dreams.