- Philips has agreed to acquire Paris-based Cardiologs, whose FDA-cleared electrocardiogram analysis platform uses artificial intelligence to help diagnose atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm disorders. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed in the Monday announcement.
- Cardiologs' AI model is built on a database of more than 20 million ECG recordings. It can interpret data from a range of cardiac monitoring devices, such as a smartwatch, Holter monitor or ECG patch, and generate rapid reports.
- The deal builds on Philips' $2.8 billion acquisition of BioTelemetry, which was completed in February. The Malvern, Pennsylvania-based business makes mobile and wireless cardiac monitoring devices such as wearable Holter heart sensors and other technology for tracking patients outside the hospital.
Philips' acquisition of Cardiologs, on the heels of its big investment in BioTelemetry, bolsters the Dutch conglomerate's patient monitoring and diagnostic capabilities at a time when the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly accelerated the adoption of digital and remote approaches to healthcare.
The deal also comes after a run of M&A in the cardiac monitoring submarket, beginning with the BioTelemetry buy last December. Since then, Boston Scientific bought up Preventice Solutions for $925 million and Hillrom purchased Bardy Diagnostics for $375 million, a deal that was later challenged by Hillrom but ultimately moved forward after a court order.
Philips is prioritizing use of AI and predictive data analytics as part of its strategic focus to aid clinical decision making and improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare services.
In January, Philips announced it would pay $635 million to acquire Capsule Technologies, an information platform that connects medical devices and electronic health records through a vendor-neutral system that gathers and analyzes patient data.
Philips said the Cardiologs acquisition will complement its existing cardiac monitoring and diagnostics offerings with the addition of ECG analysis and reporting services. Due to the addition of BioTelemetry, Philips' cardiac care portfolio already includes real-time patient monitoring, therapeutic devices, telehealth, and informatics for the hospital, as well as ambulatory cardiac diagnostics and monitoring. BioTelemetry provides services for more than one million patients a year through its remote cardiac monitoring networks.
Cardiologs' heart disorder screening and ECG analysis applications are based on machine learning algorithms and are also vendor-neutral. The technology, which is CE marked and FDA cleared for detecting cardiac arrhythmias, is designed to decrease reporting errors and to streamline clinicians' workflow and patient care, Philips said.
Cardiologs' cloud-based AI-based ECG analysis tool gained FDA clearance in 2017. In its FDA submission, the company said the positive predictive value of the technology to detect atrial fibrillation was 91%, compared to 59% for conventional detection methods.
The company ventured into remote patient monitoring for the first time this summer with the introduction of a smartwatch platform for ECG analysis of arrhythmias.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder, affecting more than 40 million individuals globally, according to the European Society of Cardiology. The condition is asymptomatic in many patients and can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure or a blackout if undiagnosed and untreated.
Cardiologs last year raised $15 million in Series A funding in a financing round led by venture capital firm Alven, bringing the total capital raised since its founding in 2014 to more than $25 million.
Philips said the acquisition is expected to be completed in the coming months, subject to customary closing conditions. Cardiologs has about 70 employees, and those software engineers and data scientists are expected to join Philips.