­­­­­­­­­­Bluedrop Medical to create 25 new jobs following €10.5M investment

Bluedrop Medical, a Galway-based MedTech start-up, today announces that it has raised €10.5 million in an oversubscribed funding round. The funding was co-led by Atlantic Bridge and Elkstone, with other investors including the European Innovation Council Fund, Furthr VC, Western Development Commission, Ascentifi, and HBAN’s MedTech and Irrus Investments syndicates. Bluedrop Medical will create 25 new jobs in 2023 on the back of the funding.

Bluedrop Medical was founded by Chris Murphy and Simon Kiersey in 2015 to reduce the rate of preventable amputations for people afflicted with diabetes. Across the US and Europe, more than 250,000 amputations associated with diabetes occur each year, resulting in healthcare costs of over €30 billion. In 2021, 645 of those amputations took place in Ireland, an increase of 45% over the previous decade.

Temperature monitoring, visual inspection of the foot and early intervention have been demonstrated to greatly improve outcomes for diabetics in several large clinical trials. Bluedrop Medical’s novel, award-winning solution enables those at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers to easily check their feet at home. The solution consists of a device – similar to a bathroom scale – that captures HD images of the feet, along with temperature data, when an individual stands on it. This data is sent to a HIPAA1 secure cloud for remote analysis using advanced AI-powered software, and is also reviewed by expert professionals employed by Bluedrop. Individuals using the device, and their healthcare provider, are notified if any abnormalities are detected.

The latest funding brings Bluedrop Medical’s total investment received to-date to €16M. This funding is critical to completing clinical trials and initiating commercialisation. Additionally, it will enable Bluedrop Medical to expand its production capacity, alongside its product development and commercial teams.

Currently employing 17 people, Bluedrop Medical will more than double its staff base to 42 this year, with a mixture of roles covering engineering, product development and manufacturing. The engineering and development roles will be based in Ireland while the commercial roles will be in the US.

Bluedrop Medical CEO, Chris Murphy, said: “This new funding is a testament to the huge amount of work our team has put in to developing a world class product that addresses a serious and growing medical need. The patients we target have lost feeling in their feet and have a 40% annual risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer, with many leading to amputation. Almost all of these amputations are preventable. Our mission is to reduce the risk of foot ulcers with a system that is both easy to use for the patient, and of zero burden to the healthcare system.  

“Our investors have been pivotal in our journey as a company. This latest funding allows us to get closer to our goal of becoming the gold standard method of remote patient monitoring for the diabetic foot.” 

Niall McEvoy, Venture Partner at Elkstone stated: “We see Bluedrop Medical as a company with an impressive team and a game changing solution for a huge unmet clinical need. Remote patient monitoring is a growing area and one which we believe represents a significant opportunity. Bluedrop Medical has enormous potential, and we are delighted to be a part of its journey.”  

Dr Helen McBreen, Partner at Atlantic Bridge, said: “We are delighted to support the Bluedrop Medical team on their journey to improve diabetes care. Bluedrop’s combination of advanced computer vision and thermal remote monitoring techniques provides clear and actionable insights for the three million diabetes patients that develop debilitating foot ulcers every year. The team has built an excellent foundation on which to advance this rapidly growing business and improve the lives of millions of diabetic patients around the world.”

Hermann Hauser, EIC Fund Board member, said: “Europe has many innovative, talented start-ups, but too often these companies remain small or relocate elsewhere. Combining grants and equity is unique to the European Innovation Council. It bridges the funding gap for highly innovative companies, unlocks additional private investments and enables them scale up in Europe.”  

To drive its commercialisation strategy, Bluedrop Medical, which won the Irish Medtech Award for Digital Health Innovation of the Year in December, recently hired Chris Sandroussi as Chief Commercial Officer. Sandroussi brings a wealth of sectoral knowledge and experience to the role as the former Senior Director of Digital Wound Care and head of Strategy and Business Development for Medical Solutions at the American multinational conglomerate, 3M.

Sandroussi will lead commercial development for the company, with a primary focus on the US market. He commented: “Working in wound care for over 15 years, I’ve seen first-hand the burden that chronic diabetic foot ulcers and amputations can have on individuals. The solution that Bluedrop have developed will undoubtedly improve the lives of these people and the recent funding will allow us to move swiftly in bringing it to them.”

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