AlertWatch Scores FDA Approval, Investment from U-M Student Fund

University of Michigan spin-out startup AlertWatch announced this week that it has received FDA approval to sell its patient monitoring software to hospitals.

“We’re thrilled,” AlertWatch CEO Justin Adams says. “It took a lot of work.”

AlertWatch makes software, originally developed at U-M’s Venture Accelerator, that helps anesthesiologists monitor patients in the operating room. The software uses aggregate data from monitors, lab results, and medical histories to keep an eye on a patient’s fluid levels, blood loss, vital signs, drug levels, and test results.

The system perpetually analyzes the data and helps determine whether the patient’s stats are normal, marginal, or abnormal and employs corresponding green, yellow, and red icons on the screen so healthcare personnel can easily track what’s happening in the operating room.

In the two years since the company was founded, AlertWatch has been used in pilot projects at hospitals in Michigan, Tennessee, and Vermont. In January, the company presented clinical data from 17,000 surgeries at the annual Society of Technology in Anesthesia meeting; Adams says the initial findings are encouraging.

This week, AlertWatch also scored an investment from U-M’s student-led Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund (formerly the Frankel Commercialization Fund). Last spring, the company announced it had raised a seed round worth $1 million from Ann Arbor SPARK, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and undisclosed angel investors participating.

Adams says AlertWatch is piloting a new health IT product for use in intensive care units. It has also developed an analytics product called AlertStats that works in conjunction with its operating room software.

“I think the two products [AlertWatch and AlertStats] sold together will be really compelling,” Adams says. “We expect to have them in users’ hands in about six months.”

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