Azumio of Instant Heart Rate fame gets funded

Ronny Kerr · July 27, 2011 · Short URL:

$2.5 million Series A from three prominent venture capital funds for medical and mobile

Azumio, creator of biofeedback smartphone apps for Android and iOS, announced Wednesday that it has raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Founders Fund, Accel Partners and Felicis Ventures.

Instant Heart Rate, with eight million total downloads and a rating of 4.5 stars on the Apple App Store, is easily the company’s most popular product. Not to sound like Steve Jobs, but the app is magical: you place the tip of your index finger on the iPhone’s camera and Instant Heart Rate returns your heart rate... instantly.

The app actually just uses technology already employed by medical pulse oximeters in hospitals.

Since launching Instant Heart Rate in January 2011, Azumio has launched two related apps: Stress Doctor in late May and Stress Check in early July. Though neither has taken off quite as much as the company’s first app, they use the same technology toward different ends.

Stress Doctor costs $4.99 and the other two cost $0.99. All are available on iOS and Instant Heart Rate is also available on Android.

“Azumio’s success has been based on providing easy-to-use biofeedback tools accessible on a device that more than 35 percent of all American adults already have – the smartphone,” said Bojan Bernard Bostjancic, Azumio’s co-founder and CEO. “This new investment will allow us to accelerate our product development and introduce new services targeting today’s biggest health issues.”

Bostjancic is dead right. Smartphones, many of us often forget, are just computers small enough to drop in a pocket, and the capabilities of computers are limitless. Though Apple probably didn’t have any explicit plans to see the iPhone used as a legitimate medical device, the technology inherently lends it to that purpose.

As the iPhone and other smartphones continue to proliferate and evolve more advanced features and hardware, a group like Azumio, that works closely with research scientists from academic institutions, is poised to repeatedly dazzle us with products like Instant Heart Rate.

The company is currently a two-man team, with Peter Kuhar listed as the other co-founder.

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