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Local tech company takes on heart failure with new monitor

Margie Manning



Jaeson Bang is turning his 15 years of experience in the cardiac healthcare field into a new concept to address heart failure.

Jae Bang, founder and CEO, Oracle Health

Bang has founded Oracle Health and is developing a tiny insertable cardiac monitor just under the skin designed to prevent heart failure hospitalization.

About 1 million heart failure patients who also have irregular heartbeats initially would benefit from the device, said Bang, an entrepreneur who lives in Safety Harbor.

He’s still has to traverse a regulatory approval process that could take about two years. He’s also working to raise additional funding. He’s gotten a head start on the funding, with a $50,000 investment from ZeroTo510, a Memphis-based accelerator for medical device startups, and an additional $30,000 from an undisclosed financial backer earlier this week.

The potential market is huge.

“Six million patients suffer from heart failure and the cost of that is $31 billion,” Bang said. “It is the most expensive health care expenditure we have in the country.”

Oracle Health’s device specifically would focus on preventing hospitalizations by analyzing trends in heart sounds and heart rhythms. There were 1.2 million hospitalizations last year, costing $21 billion, Bang said.

Going after the gap

Bang has a background in both clinical and business operations. He worked for five years at Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) in Tampa, selling pacemakers and defibrillators, as well as in-house product development. He also worked at CVRx, a venture-capital backed company that just received Food and Drug Administration approval for a neurostimulation device for heart failure, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune, and at EBR Systems, a venture-backed firm in Silicon Valley that says it is the developer of the world’s only wireless cardiac pacing system for heart failure.

Invasive approaches are expensive, while wearable devices, such as vests, are inaccurate and make compliance difficult for older patients, Bang said.

“There’s a huge gap in the middle. Wearables don’t work. Invasive heart procedures are not for everyone.  I want to go after the gap in the middle by inserting a device just under the skin tor record heart sounds and EKG,” he said.

The Oracle Health device is designed to be implanted in a two-minute procedure in a physician’s office, he said. It has acoustic sensors to listen to heart sounds and record heart rhythms. It will monitor constantly to obtain accurate trending cardiac performance, which will be sent to phone and to a cloud-based platform where it can be analyzed with artificial intelligence and machine learning, Bang said.

“The benefit of this two-minute office procedure is that it drastically improves accuracy, providing the cardiologist with actionable data so they can follow heart failure progression, providing patients a sense of peace of mind,” Bang said, during the ZeroTo510 demo day.

Medtronic and Abbott (NYSE: ABT) are in a similar space, but they are focusing on arrhythmia patients using only EKG measurements, with nothing for heart failure, Bang said.

Investment plans

Oracle Health is valued at $1.6 million, based on the investment from ZeroTo510, which took a 3 percent stake in the company. Bang wants to raise $500,000 in the next three months, and $5 million over the next year.

Bang completed the accelerator program two weeks ago.

“It was incredible. I had done this for many years. I thought I knew what I was doing, but I also knew I needed extra support in terms of logistics and other expertise,” Bang said.

Oracle Health is a lean operation right now. Bang is the only full-time employee, and CEO. There are two part-time scientists on staff, as well as two advisors.

He’s confident about growing the company in the Tampa-St. Pete area, based on his experience in Silicon Valley. He worked near a LinkedIn office, and he watched LinkedIn bring in its employees by bus every day because they couldn’t afford to live near the office.

“After 10 years in Silicon Valley, I know a lot of guys are leaving for Houston, Austin and Florida. We are very much in position to utilize that talent,” Bang said.

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