Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sports start-up raises $6m for concussion detection wearable

Steve Rogerson
May 9, 2017



Prevent Biometrics, developer of a mouthguard than can detect concussion in athletes, has received $6m in new financing, marking the successful completion of the company’s series B round.
 
Embedded in a mouthguard and paired with a mobile app, the head impact monitor continually monitors the athlete, collecting every head impact received. If an impact exceeds a pre-set threshold, a red LED immediately illuminates on the mouthguard and an alert is sent to team personnel through the mobile app.
 
Minnesota-based Prevent has now raised a total of $8.5m in two rounds of financing. The new capital will be used for additional technical development and to support the launch of its head impact monitoring system.
 
Separately, Prevent has signed a joint technology agreement with Murata, a Japanese electronics company specialising in electronic components, wireless modules and materials, and also deepened its relationship with the Cleveland Clinic.
 
“We’re excited to have access to the significant resources that Murata and Cleveland Clinic offer, as we continue on the path towards improving sports safety,” said Steve Washburn, co-founder and CEO of Prevent. “The commitment from our business partners is further proof that our strategy is sound and the market potential is huge.”
 
The multi-year collaborative agreement with Murata will result in design, development and manufacturing advancements, ensuring the Prevent product meets high standards for consumer wearable technology.
 
“This collaboration will leverage core technologies from each of our disciplines and help to create an immediate benefit to society,” said Mark Waugh, technology and strategic marketing manager at Murata in the Americas. “Together, we will work to improve the communication, sensing abilities and flexible electronics technologies of the head impact monitor, helping to protect the health and wellness of future athletes.”
 
Washburn added: “Murata is a global leader in electronics componentry, and their products power the most advanced technologies in mobile devices, medical devices and wearables. Prevent, and ultimately athletes everywhere, will benefit immensely from Murata’s expertise in miniaturisation technology.”
 
As a Cleveland Clinic spinoff, Prevent will continue to work with the clinic to support development and commercialisation of the product. In addition, Cleveland Clinic made a direct investment in Prevent’s series B round.
 
The current concussion identification process is subjective, observational and ineffective, resulting in an estimated 50 per cent of sports concussions going undetected and untreated every year. Prevent’s data-driven system provides an accurate, objective way to correct this serious problem.
 
Designed with youth athletes in mind, the head impact monitor uses a patented algorithm to measure the force, direction and location of head impacts in real time, providing an accurate and comprehensive view of athlete hits.
 
Prevent plans to offer its head impact monitor for athletes aged 11 and older. The company is targeting a launch later this year in select markets, with plans to introduce the product across the USA by 2018.
 
Prevent Biometrics was established in 2015 in Minneapolis.