Meet the Founders – Respiree

Respiree from Singapore provides targeted predictions and diagnosis of cardio-respiratory diseases using a combination of advanced breath-cardio sensors and artificial intelligence. Founder Dr Gurpreet Singh told us how he came up with the idea to digitize respiratory monitoring, which role the patients play in remote monitoring, and what makes Singapore the place to be for startups in Asia.

Gurpreet, how did you come up with the idea to digitize respiration monitoring? Currently, respiratory monitoring in hospitals is largely conducted in a very rudimentary way. If one were to visit the wards, the only vital sign measured manually is the patient’s respiratory rate. Interestingly, however, multiple clinical reports point to the respiratory rate as being one of the earliest indicators of a change in clinical status compared to signals like oxygen saturation and blood pressure rates. Hence, our original idea was to see how we could create Respiree to automate the process of respiratory rate measurement. This can provide clinicians with more objective measures to predict clinical deterioration. We have since shifted from a pure sensing technology to a network-based systems platform technology that allows for simple and easy-to-use monitoring without the use of traditional mobile applications.

Which role does the patient play in remote monitoring, and for which patients is your solution suitable? Our solution is a remote-patient monitoring platform that is prescribed by a clinician and that is used by the patient at home to better manage chronic diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure. Seeing that mobile interfaces can significantly limit the use of remote-patient monitoring especially for elderly patients, our aim was to build a mobile-free, easy-to-use and ready-to-use platform combined with software-based predictive analytics. Once the patient puts the device on, it starts to track and transmit data automatically to the clinical backend. We started off by developing a solution aimed at enabling the monitoring and prediction of chronic diseases /of high-risk patients. Over time, we have realized that the platform can be applied to other target groups like the elderly, children or those affected by diseases that require monitoring during sleep.

Is there any reason why you founded your startup in Singapore? Singapore offers a great ecosystem for health tech startups. A*STAR, the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research has been very helpful to us for the start. A*STAR provided us access to an ecosystem of manufacturers, logistics, clinicians and many more. We spoke to a lot of private doctors, GPs, and clinicians to get different perspectives on our solution. This was extremely important as it was crucial to receive the proper guidance on healthcare if we wanted to successfully launch a digital health solution. Singapore was also the perfect market to launch our solution initially, as the country has an advanced healthcare system, including effective regulatory approval processes. Currently, we are in the process of securing our Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals. We are further looking to solidify our partnerships with commercial stakeholders to enhance Respiree’s portfolio of products, especially in artificial intelligence systems for the healthcare segment.

This sounds very promising. Which are your goals for the Startup Creasphere program? The participation in the program is a great opportunity for us. Together with the Roche pilot team, we are looking forward to seeing how co-developments and synergistic outcomes can be made through the program between Respiree and Roche.

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