Itamar Medical Ltd has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire technology and assets of Spry Health for an undisclosed cash amount. Spry, based in the San Francisco Bay area, develops wrist-based remote patient monitoring solutions.

“As we sought opportunities to build on our vision of expanding sleep apnea diagnostics from a single-night test to continuous remote patient monitoring, we identified the technology commercialized by Spry Health as a perfect fit,” says Gilad Glick, president and CEO of Itamar Medical, in a release. “The acquisition of their FDA-cleared, wrist-worn technology and the addition of a knowledgeable pool of selected talented engineers, led by Spry co-founder and CTO Elad Ferber, provides an excellent platform for us to jump start our development initiatives to bring to market a continuous sleep apnea monitoring device to further support chronic disease management, particularly as it contributes to the added burden on cardiovascular disease.

“While finger-based monitoring yields the highest accuracy, it is currently not suitable for longer-term wear. A device that is designed for the wrist, while potentially less accurate for precise disease diagnostics, is more suitable for monitoring the continuous accumulated burden of sleep apnea and its potential impact on other diseases, such as cardiovascular conditions, due to its wearability over weeks or months.”

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Spry’s patented technology is delivered through a watch-like home-based monitoring medical device called the Loop System. The FDA-cleared Loop System is based on a set of sensing technologies and algorithms that contextualize real-time, continuous physiologic data to flag signs of patient deterioration using biomarkers such as SpO2, respiration rate, and heart rate. These three signals, combined with Itamar’s expertise in peripheral arterial tonometry, form the foundation for continuous sleep apnea monitoring. Itamar anticipates commencing development of a new wrist-worn device immediately, with initial market launch timing anticipated in 2022.

“Sleep apnea is a serious and common respiratory disorder. Recent studies have shown that 50-80% of patients with cardiovascular disease including hypertension, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and HF have significant sleep apnea – and patients with uncontrolled sleep apnea are more likely to have worse outcomes including uncontrolled hypertension, refractory afib and higher mortality. Enabling cardiac-based [remote patient monitoring] programs in patients with [cardiovascular] disease will almost certainly be a game changer in helping us identify sleep apnea—and its burden—earlier in these patients and lead to better outcomes across the board,” says Dan Bensimhon, MD, medical director at Advanced Heart Failure & Mechanical Circulatory Support at Moses Cone Health, in a release.

Glick says, “We also believe that pulmonologists, which are predominantly our current WatchPAT customers, will gain the added benefit of [remote patient monitoring] in monitoring patients with overlap sleep-apnea/COPD syndrome, a condition that can increase death sevenfold.”