Startups in Houston and Austin team up on touchless vital monitors for Covid-19

Startups in Houston and Austin team up on touchless vital monitors for Covid-19

Originally published by Austin Inno

A partnership between two Texas tech companies — both with ties to NASA — is helping provide touchless monitoring of at-risk patients’ vital signs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Galen Data Inc., a Houston-based cloud platform for medical devices, is partnering with Austin-based Advanced TeleSensors Inc., creator of the Cardi/o touchless monitor. Galen’s platform allows ATS a secure and FDA-compliant way to capture vitals and provides data access to people at assisted living centers and their care teams.

The partnership is a win-win for both tech companies, said Stephanie Probasco, director of marketing at ATS.

“When you have a caregiver in assisted living, and frequent contact is virtually obsolete overnight, this helps you be in the know,” she said in an interview.

Assisted living is the primary market target for the device at this time, when “there’s a tremendous demand for remote monitoring,” she said.

“Three out of four seniors have a cardiovascular disease,” Probasco noted. “Very little of them are being monitored. Less than 5 percent of seniors wear wearable health trackers. The dirty little secret in the wearable industry is that people stop wearing them within six months.”

Touchless monitoring reduces risk of viral transmission, said Mosheh Poltorak, chief marketing officer at Galen.

“Seniors are being isolated, and people are not visiting them,” he said. “Families are being told to stay away.”

Some assisted living centers might be understaffed, which further increases need for a new way to monitor vital signs, he said.

The partnership between Galen and ATS started with a meeting in January, said Keith Drake, Galen’s VP of business development.

“We knew that our platform would be a great fit for Cardi/o,” Chris DuPont, CEO of Galen Data, said in a news release. “Speed was critical, accentuated by the Covid-19 crisis. We were well-positioned to address ATS’ needs and help those at-risk in the process.”

Cardi/o uses radio frequency processing for remote vital-sign monitoring. The company’s founders, Caltech scientists, developed the core at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, the news release said.

Galen’s founders met while working together for a software contractor building safety systems for NASA, the news release said.

“We wish we had found Galen Data sooner. We had been building our own cloud for six months, thinking a custom solution would best meet our needs,” Sajol Ghoshal, CEO and president of ATS, said in a news release. “Getting up-and-running with them was very easy, and it allowed us to focus on our core competency — which is data-signal processing.”

Galen is meeting projections for 2020, which were “pretty aggressive,” he said.

“The Galen Cloud is purpose-built for medical devices. We’re democratizing cloud connectivity for medical devices.”

Galen is “not looking for customers,” Drake said. “We’re looking for partners.”