Wireless hospital bed sensor maker considering IPO in 2015-CEO

TEL AVIV Mon May 12, 2014 9:42am EDT

TEL AVIV May 12 (Reuters) - Wireless hospital bed monitor maker EarlySense is evaluating a possible initial public offering in 2015 after already raising $46 million, Chief Executive Avner Halperin said.

EarlySense says it is the market leader of the system, the only one cleared for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which from under a mattress, unobtrusively detects a patient's heart and respiratory rate and movement.

The system "monitors a patient continuously without ever touching (the) body ... and gives alerts when the earliest signs of deterioration are present," Halperin told Reuters.

Israel-based EarlySense declined to give sales data but said it has already delivered over a thousand units and expects to install "tens of thousands more in the next three years".

Over 10 years of research have gone into developing the device and it is in use in about two dozen hospitals across the United States, including leading networks such as Partners Healthcare and Dignity Health.

"The company has raised $46 million to date and will evaluate a potential IPO in 2015," Halperin said.

Leading investors in the company include Israel's Pitango Venture Capital Management and JK&B Capital of Chicago.

Halperin said the device costs about $7,000 per bed but he expects this to drop with increased sales. A sensor for home use is also in development.

"Of the devices on the market, we are the only ones who actually have proven clinical data from over 100,000 patients monitored and we have just received approval of our 10th U.S. patent," Halperin added.

The sensor, a flat metal plate, is connected to a bedside monitor where the data is processed and relayed to a central monitor or to a mobile device where a carer can be alerted.

Halperin said the system generates over 100 times fewer false alarms compared with other monitors. It also reduces "alarm fatigue" among carers who might otherwise often ignore alerts, believing them to be bogus.

Dr. Gadi Mendelson, director of the Dorot geriatric hospital in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, said the system was being used in the short-rehab department where patients are hospitalised largely because of falls.

"As a result of this system we have seen falls out of bed reduced by 27 percent and referrals back to emergency by 19 percent," Mendelson said. (Additional reporting by Rinat Harash, Writing by Ori Lewis)

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