We are currently fundraising!
We are raising our seed round to cover development of the product through design all the way through FDA approval. We have partnerships with Pittsburgh-based designers in place to carry out this work and these quotes are based on estimates from them.
Please reach out to Anna Li at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in investing anything over $10,000.
For smaller checks, please use our crowdfunding portal here.
Our mission is to break down barriers to medical care and empower patients to access healthcare screenings from their homes in an accessible and affordable way. To start, we are focusing on creating an affordable electronic stethoscope. Having a doctor listen to heart and lung sounds with a stethoscope regularly is critical for catching heart and lung disease early, but many people are not able to see a physician in person and the methods for these screenings over telehealth are limited.
To bridge this gap, we are developing the SoundHeart System, which consists of:
an electronic stethoscope for recording heart and lung sounds,
a guided user interface which uses computer vision to interact with patients and help them to record their heart sounds,
a machine learning-based diagnostic tool to immediately detect potential heart or lung dysfunction, which can also be used to triage patients, and
educational tools to help patients understand what their results mean.
"I’m an MD PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, with an engineering background and a focus on emergency medicine—both treating patients when they come into the ER, and also in restructuring the system to keep them out of the ER. I saw how many patients were coming in for exacerbations of preventable conditions, particularly in heart disease, which remains the number one killer in the world. Often the strain on their heart had built up to the point where they needed emergency surgery, and even if they survived, they would often have PTSD from the invasive procedures. So many of these conditions could’ve been prevented through early screenings, but nearly 80% of Americans don’t see a physician regularly. There are so many barriers to access; as the daughter of immigrants, I also often had to translate for my parents when they had to visit the doctor, which was stressful for both of us, and the avoidance of that experience often led to missed visits. I really wanted to build something to break down barriers to accessibility and meet patients in their own comfort zone, something scalable and accessible in all languages, so everyone can get the health screenings they need. That dream became Korion Health."
- Anna Li, MD PhD Candidate, CEO & Founder of Korion Health
Heart disease is the number one killer in the world, responsible for 17.9 million deaths a year, and the American Heart Association estimates that about 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable. Early screenings are a critical part of that prevention, however many people face barriers getting to an in-person clinic appointment. Telemedicine has grown 38X from the pre-covid-19 baseline and predicted to hit a $250B market, however tools to conduct a full physical exam from home remotely are still lacking. The UPMC physicians we surveyed lamented that one cannot reach through a computer screen with a stethoscope to listen to someone’s heart and lung sounds, significantly limiting the physical exam. Electronic stethoscopes currently on the market are largely built for clinicians and are very expensive, at around $300 for the Eko digital stethoscope. Even with the rise of Telemedicine opportunities, wait times can still be months long. There is an urgent need for home health monitoring devices that can be used by patients independent of live appointments, especially for heart and lung health screenings.
Korion Health is developing the very first affordable electronic stethoscope with a computer vision-based, foolproof guided interface which walks patients through how to record their own heart sounds, such that the recordings can be done without a doctor present. Notably, the interface can be used even if the stethoscope is under a shirt due to innovative sensor design. Based on our initial customer discovery surveys, being able to remain clothed on camera significantly increased patient comfort with the device and usage. In our current model, patients can record their heart and lung sounds at their convenience and then send the recordings to their doctor for analysis. Future models will include the machine learning-based diagnostics and educational tools so that patients can get immediate feedback on their health.
Go to Market Strategy
To streamline our regulatory process and get to market faster, we plan to start with the first two components (the electronic stethoscope and guided interface) and market directly to Telehealth companies (B2B). We have already negotiated a partnership with a telehealth company that sends medical kits out to patients for remote health monitoring. We have a letter of intent from a mid-size Telemedicine company projected to be worth nearly $1M. We are in the process of reaching out to other telehealth companies for more deals.
Financing and Use of Funds
Korion Health incorporated in June 2022 and our funding thus far has come from grants and investments from the University of Pittsburgh and community organizations. Funds have gone into development of our MVP, customer discovery surveys, and regulatory pathway assessment. Moving forward, we plan to hire members of our team full- time so that we can make faster progress. We’re currently looking to raise $1M, with investments made mostly on SAFEs/convertible notes, to cover development of our product, pilot testing, and clinical trials to the point where we can get to FDA approval.