Health technology company Bloomer Tech (Bloomer) announced that it raised $3 million in a Series Seed funding round led by Material Impact, along with One Brave Idea and several angels, including John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific.
Bloomer, a company developing a smart bra to detect heart disease, is tackling the leading cause of death in women with the world’s first electrocardiogram device that looks and feels like a bra.
By embedding patented, medical-grade fabric sensors and machine learning algorithms into a garment that women wear every day, Bloomer provides users and doctors with unprecedented access to heart health data.
In the United States, cardiovascular issues resulted in nearly female 300,000 deaths in 2017, or about 1 in every five and, yet, only about half of women even know that that’s the case.
That lack of knowledge might be, in part, because women are frequently overlooked when it comes to clinical research, said Alicia Chong, CEO of Bloomer Tech.
“As women in STEM, we are keenly aware that digital health and AI tools are tuned to people represented in the datasets. So when we realized that women have been woefully underrepresented in clinical research, especially in cardiovascular diseases, we had to take action,” said Chong.
Bloomer is eliminating healthcare imbalances by replacing an uncomfortable piece of plastic with a beautiful piece of clothing that empowers women to feel sexy instead of sick, Chong added.
“This seamless and comfortable monitoring experience prevents algorithm biases and unlocks new, sex-specific digital biomarkers that can more accurately provide personalized care for patients,” she said.
The female technology (femtech) sector has shown explosive growth, with close to $1 billion of funding going into femtech startups in 2019 alone. Forbes predicts that the space is poised to become a $25 billion industry within the next five years.
Boston-based VC fund Material Impact sees the investment as core to its thesis of translating products enabled by materials innovation into companies that solve real-world problems.
In 2019, Material Impact led the $9 million Series A of femtech startup NextGen Jane. Adam Sharkawy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Material Impact and a former cardiovascular healthcare executive, will be serving as Bloomer’s Chair of the Board.
“Bloomer addresses some gaping needs in cardiovascular health, one of the largest spaces in healthcare overall,” said Sharkawy.
One Brave Idea, an investor in Bloomer, was established to pursue unconventional scientific approaches to make significant advances in the fight against coronary heart disease.