Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Elektra Labs raises $2.9m to improve wearables deployment

Steve Rogerson
December 3, 2019
Healthcare security company Elektra Labs has closed a $2.9m seed round to improve deployment of smart wearables. The Massachusetts-based company has built an evidence-based catalogue of connected technologies to support clinical research and remote care.
"The increase in FDA clearances for digital health products coupled with heavy investment in technology has led to accelerated adoption of connected tools in both clinical trials and routine care," said Andy Coravos, co-founder and CEO of Elektra Labs. “However, this adoption has not come without controversy. During my time as an entrepreneur in residence in the FDA's Digital Health Unit, it became clear to me that similar to pharmacies, which review, prepare and dispense drug components, our healthcare system needs infrastructure to review, prepare and dispense connected technologies components.”
She said questions around the security, accuracy and bias in the data from wearables had made researchers and developers confront the complexity of bringing these technologies to market.
“At Elektra, we set out to build that pharmacy-like infrastructure, and we're excited to be supported by a seed round to help us get there," she said.
In addition to the funding, Elektra is launching a product called Atlas, which catalogues connected biometric monitoring technologies that can be used in clinical trials and routine clinical care. The Atlas platform simplifies the evaluation and deployment of connected tools that collect behavioural or physiological measurements.
For pharma, biotech and contract research organisations conducting clinical trials, Atlas serves as a catalogue of trustworthy remote monitoring technologies and digital biomarkers for decentralised clinical trials. Elektra Labs is additionally building this infrastructure to support hospital systems and insurers, the backbone of a digital pharmacopeia.
Atlas was built after interviewing more than 300 stakeholders in the software-enabled clinical trial ecosystem, and they discovered that people wanted a better way to evaluate trustworthy tools. Similar to a drug label or nutrition label, Atlas publishes connected technology labels that highlight critical aspects of the product. These labels identify objective measures around a product's validation, usability, utility, security and data governance components.
The $2.9m seed round was led by Maverick Ventures, with participation from Arkitekt Ventures, Boost VC, Founder Collective, Lux Capital, SV Angel, Village Global and sixteen angels, including founders and CEOs from companies such as PillPack, Flatiron Health, National Vision, Shippo, Revel and Verge Genomics. The funds will be used to improve infrastructure for the efficient and responsible deployment of wearables and connected biosensors.
"At Maverick, we're always searching for disruptive brands who find ways to make the world easier; Andy and her team blew us away with their vision to build tools that allow researchers and clinicians to perform at the top of their game," said Ambar Bhattacharyya, managing director at Maverick Ventures. "As accelerated adoption of consumer health technology increases, developers have had to face complex issues around accuracy and bias that stems from the collected data. We look forward to seeing Elektra Labs exercise their strengths in improving access to care."
Elektra Labs is a part of the FDA-led #WeHeartHackers medical device security initiative along with eleven other companies, including Mayo Clinic, Philips Health, GE Healthcare and Abbott. The Elektra team also announced its strategic advisory board including Ariel Stern, Beau Woods, Bill Wood, Christine Eun, Eric Perakslis, John Wilbanks, Julia Austin, Noah Zimmerman and Sofia Warner.
By 2023, an estimated five million individuals will be remotely monitored by healthcare providers. In the digital era of medicine, Elektra Labs says it is committed to advancing the safe, effective and personalised adoption of connected technologies in real-world settings.
The company was incubated through the Harvard Launch Lab X and Plug and Play Accelerators, and was awarded a National Science Foundation I-Corps grant for its technology.