Podimetrics completes $13.4 million funding for disease-detecting foot mat

(Reuters) - Podimetrics, the maker of a smart foot mat that detects warning signs of diabetic foot ulcers, said on Thursday it raised $13.4 million in a funding round led by a group of investors, including venture capital firm Scientific Health Development.

The company said the proceeds will be used to reach out to more people through the Veterans Affairs (VA) department, which provides health care services to military veterans. Its device is already used in 14 VA medical centers across the United States.

One out of every four military veterans has diabetes and 80 percent of limb amputations are from diabetic foot ulcers, the company said.

Podimetrics’ FDA-cleared wireless device, which resembles a weighing scale, records heat signals from patients who have to stand on the device for 20 seconds a day.

“It’s like looking for foot fever. It’s the same idea when a mother touches the child’s forehead. We’re doing the same thing - we’re looking for signs of localized inflammation,” Chief Executive Officer Jon Bloom told Reuters.

The data from the mat is sent to the company’s care team, which examines it to detect signs of diabetic foot ulcers.

The series B funding round included investors Rock Health and Norwich Ventures, which also participated in an earlier round. The company has raised $16 million till date.

(This story corrects to say the device is “FDA-cleared” and not “FDA-approved” in the fourth paragraph).

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli