The annual occurrence of stroke in the EU will increase from 600.000 cases in 2015 to 800.000 in 2035 (GBD Study, 2017). At least 15% of stroke cases are due to a heart rhythm disease called Atrial Fibrillation [AF], meaning that each day, in The Netherlands alone, 18 people suffer from a stroke due to undiscovered AF. These strokes can be prevented when atrial fibrillation is found earlier, enabling the cardiologist to offer timely and effective treatment. AF is hard to recognise in time because in the early stages the episodes are asymptomatic and infrequent, meaning that an episode can occur once or twice per month. Due to these characteristics it requires continuous monitoring over a longer period of time to find early AF. There is currently no low-threshold device available that can monitor continuously over a longer period of time, leaving a gap in the possibilities for early detection of atrial fibrillation. This results in an estimated 100.000 people in the Netherlands suffering from AF that are undiagnosed (Hartstichting, 2018). The result is not only more strokes, but also an inefficient healthcare process and prolonged period of insecurity for the patient.
Praxa Sense is developing an unobtrusive long-term monitoring device called Afi, that enables the early classification of heart rhythm diseases such as Atrial Fibrillation. Afi combines data that is retrieved from multiple sensors. The measurement method and the corresponding sensor data are validated by cardiologists.
By providing unobtrusive, long-term monitoring and reliable diagnosis, Afi offers a solution to detect heart rhythm diseases in an early stage, preventing up to 9 strokes each day in The Netherlands alone. To achieve this, Praxa Sense needs €350k initial funding for product development and another €800k to be market ready.
The team of Praxa Sense combines knowledge from various fields like medical design, software development and user testing. The experience of the founders is supplemented by an Advisory Board, adding knowledge in the fields of cardiology, technology, business development and (service) design.