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Appian Medical Gets $580K in Seed Funding for Sleep Apnea Diagnostic Solution

August 21, 2014

Appian Medical said that it has secured $580,000 toward a $1 million seed funding goal for developing a diagnostic software technology licensed from The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia.

In its release, Appian Medical said that the technology was developed by Dr. Udantha Abeyratne from the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and licensed to Appian Medical by Uniquest, the university's main commercialization company.

The software uses neural network algorithms, a form of artificial intelligence, to detect the presence of OSA from the analysis of sound characteristics associated with snoring and airway collapse. In clinical studies, the technology has demonstrated the ability to distinguish OSA from snoring with a high degree of accuracy.

OSA is a serious sleep disorder that affects 100 million people worldwide. The global diagnostic market for OSA is more than $6 billion annually. Untreated, OSA causes or worsens many diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, yet as many as 85 percent of sufferers remain undiagnosed.

"There is an urgent need for a low-cost, accurate and easy-to- use method for identifying people who need treatment," said Michael J. Thomas, founder and chief executive officer of Appian Medical. "Once commercially developed, this software can be accessible to tens of millions of people through a smartphone app or embedded in wearable sensors and fitness monitors."

"Our goal is to provide consumer-directed tools that can aid awareness and guide people to treatment," Thomas added. "We plan to partner with device companies and disease management firms to solve this unmet need."

Appian Medical said that it will apply the seed funding to validation studies for the neural network algorithm, its initial 510(k) application to the United States Food and Drug Administration, and operating capital.

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Source: Professional Services Close - Up

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