Strados Labs has been awarded a $990,118 grant to advance the development of its RESP Smart Sensor Platform, a noninvasive wearable lung device to help in the early detection of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory infectious conditions.

The funds are part of a second phase of a two-year Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

COPD is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs that causes several symptoms that make breathing difficult, such as persistent cough with mucus, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

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These symptoms may be detected with a stethoscope, however, abnormal sounds may not occur during an examination, which may hamper COPD diagnosis. Also, physicians may not interpret and classify lung sounds in the same manner, further introducing a degree of variability to a diagnosis.

Strados created the RESP Smart Sensor Platform, an algorithm-based device that’s able to remotely detect changes in lung sounds and breathing patterns in real-time early in the disease course.

“It’s such an honor to receive this grant from such a highly regarded agency as the National Science Foundation,” Nick Delmonico, co-founder and CEO of Strados, said in a press release.

“This is an exciting time for Strados and the work we do in predictive algorithms for cardiopulmonary events like heart failure, COPD exacerbation and asthma, to name a few,” Delmonico added.

The device continuously monitors and records lung sounds that can be examined by a physician later. According to the research team, it detects stethoscope-quality sounds, such as wheezing and cough spasms, with a higher sensitivity than sporadic monitoring using an electronic stethoscope. The developers expect it will be a valuable remote monitoring tool in clinical research on new therapies for chronic lung diseases.

The funding will help the company confirm the technology’s capabilities and increase algorithm accuracy. The funds will also be used to expand its marketing claims.

“This grant will be used in the further development of a standardized database for things like wheezology and coughology [acoustic biomarkers] to predict disease progression and personalize care,” Delmonico said.

Strados received a $224,470 phase I SBIR grant from NSF in 2020 to expand research and development for telemedicine technologies. That same year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared its RESP platform. RESP is the world’s first FDA-cleared wearable lung device and smart sensor platform for respiratory health, according to the company.

Strados was granted a CE Mark late last year that allows it to market and sell RESP in EU member countries that accept CE-marked medical devices. Earlier this year, the company also raised a pre-series A funding round of $4.5M.

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