Currently, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma affect 1/10 of the world’s population, and this number is rising steadily. Early detection and diagnosis have the potential to slow the trajectory of the disease. However, current testing for COPD and asthma involves spirometry (dating back to the 1800s) and it takes 30 minutes per test among other shortfalls.
As this process is known to be uncomfortable for patients, requires specialist training, is time-consuming for both patients and clinicians and is technique dependent, it leads to misdiagnosis very often.
TidalSense (formerly Cambridge Respiratory Innovations) is a healthtech headquartered in Cambridge that develops AI-driven diagnostic and monitoring technologies for COPD and asthma.
Now, the healthtech has secured £7.5 million funding in a round led by investors BGF (that invested in Gaussion and ForeFront) and Downing. The investment will be used to build TidalSense’s diagnostics business further and target the primary care and diagnostics provider market in the UK.
Tim Rea, Head of Early Stage Investments at BGF commented: “As investors, we are focused on supporting transformational innovation. We have evaluated a broad range of propositions that involve the application of machine learning and are excited by the opportunities in the healthcare sector where we see scope to apply new tools to unmet needs.”
Matt Pierce, Investment Director at Downing, said: “The UK currently has some extremely exciting R&D projects in the med-tech and life science sectors, which are attracting both investment and attention. TidalSense is a company which is a front-runner in cutting-edge, healthcare AI innovation, an area which has strategic importance to the UK and which also reflects global growth and demand.”
Developed N-Tidal, an AI-driven handheld diagnostic test
TidalSense co-founded by Ameera Patel, an asthma sufferer herself in 2013, has created a handheld medical device (N-Tidal). It detects changes in lung function sensitively and enables quicker, more accurate and automated diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.
N-Tidal’s diagnostic test will be delivered at the point of care and it can be completed within less than five minutes without any specialist training. It relies on relaxed breathing, eliminating technique-dependence and therefore reducing misdiagnosis.
The device has been used on over 1000 patients, collecting over 2.3 million breaths from patients through clinical studies and trials. Using this data and the company’s AI platform, N-Tidal is able to provide near-real-time analysis of patient lung health and can provide a diagnosis within minutes.
Dr Ameera Patel, CEO of TidalSense commented: “Quick, reliable and accurate diagnostics have the potential to slash waiting lists and slow the trajectory of respiratory diseases. That’s why we’ve developed N-Tidal, which will enable earlier, accurate detection of COPD and will result in better patient outcomes and reduced costs for healthcare environments in the long-term.”