| TEL AVIV
TEL AVIV May 12 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)