To say that FibriCheck is practical in design is an understatement. All you need to do is place your finger on top of your smartphone’s camera lens, and the application will determine your heart rate by measuring changes in light intensity. The principle behind this method is that the intensity of light fluctuates in line with the contractions of your blood vessels.
Thanks to the FibriCheck mobile app, 60 seconds is all it takes for your smartphone to check your pulse in order to detect heart rhythm problems and atrial fibrillation. Developed by a Flanders-based start-up of the same name, FibriCheck has become the world’s first medical app for heart rhythm monitoring to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Once a measurement has been completed, the app goes on to ask the user how they feel and whether they are experiencing certain symptoms. All this information is analyzed by artificial intelligence algorithms to determine the user’s heart rhythm. The main goal is to detect atrial fibrillation (AF), a heart condition that strikes one in four people over forty and increases a person’s chances of having a heart attack by five times.
FibriCheck was established 4 years ago in Hasselt, Flanders. Since receiving approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2016, the app has already been prescribed to patients by more than 1,000 doctors. Shortly after its establishment, the Flanders-based start-up also received EUR 50,000 in support from German pharma giant Bayer. In addition, FibriCheck received EUR 1.5 million from Flanders-based investment society LRM and venture capital fund Volta Ventures.
On 5 October 2018, the Flanders-based start-up announced its latest milestone: approval by the FDA for commercialization in the US. “The past 10 months were intense,” says Lars Grieten, co-founder and CEO of FibriCheck. “The most challenging part of the approval process was to demonstrate that the technology ensures accurate results no matter which mobile device you’re using.”
To capitalize on business opportunities in the US, FibriCheck recently opened its first office on American soil in San Francisco.