Clearwater Clinical raises $6M for mobile hearing testing

Steven Loeb · January 12, 2017 · Short URL:

It offers an automated iPad audiometer, and a medical camera app for physicians to share photos

Editor's note: Our Splash Health, Wellness and Wearables event is coming up on March 23 in San Francisco. We'll have Mario Schlosser, Founder & CEO of Oscar Health, Brian Singerman (Partner, Founders Fund), Steve Jurvetson (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), J. Craig Venter (Human Longevity), Lynne Chou (Partner, Kleiner Perkins), Patrick Chung (Xfund), Risa Stack (GE Ventures), Sean Duffy (CEO, Omada Health), Karin Ajmani (President of Healthcare Services, Progyny), Paul Willard (Subtraction Capital), Julie Papanek (Canaan Partners) and more. Check out the full lineup and register for tickets before they jump! If you’re a healthcare startup and you’re interested in being part of our competition, learn more and register here.

Healthcare is such a sprawling space, with so many different parts and components and affectations to treat, it can be almost overwhelming, and impossible to cover them all. It really puts into perspective how complex and complicated the system is. 

One problem that affects almost 640 million people globally is hearing loss. It's also an area that, according to Clearwater Clinical Limited, a provider of medical-grade mobile devices and cloud-based data management solutions for the hearing health industry, hasn't seen much innovation in nearly half a centure.

Founded in 2005, the Ottawa-based company designs and manufactures medical-grade devices that enable treatment of common medical conditions.

On Thursday, it announced it closed $6 million in Series A funding in a round led by Whitecap Venture Partners, with BDC Capital Healthcare Venture Fund also participating, and along with other unnamed investors. This latest round brings the company's total funding to $9.5 million.

The company is comprised of two divisions: SHOEBOX Audiometry and MODICA.

SHOEBOX is an automated iPad audiometer that performs diagnostic hearing testing. It offers both automated and manual modes so the user can choose the right testing option for each patient and environment. It consists of just an iPad, software, and a set of calibrated headphones, making it easier to do hearing testing without needing a lot of equipment. 

The Standard Edition of SHOEBOX has a fully automated game-based play interface for children and is used by testers that include primary care physicians, nurses, occupational hearing testers, teachers, researchers, and more. It also has a HIPAA-compliant web portal for data backup and management, threshold shift identification, and report generation. There is also a Professional Edition, which features speech discrimination testing and configurable audiogram symbols.

The app is used by customers in industries that include hearing care multinationals, industrial workplace testing, retail and pharmaceuticals.

"SHOEBOX Audiometry is satisfying an enormous need in the market by providing a simpler and more cost-effective approach to hearing testing," Michael Weider, CEO of Clearwater Clinical, said in a statement. "At Clearwater, we believe that it is possible to leverage the power and portability of software defined diagnostics and tablet technology to revolutionize the hearing health industry and make it possible for every person on the planet to have access to a hearing test."

The other part of the company, MODICA, is not focused on hearing loss; it's a HIPAA-compliant medical camera app designed so that physicians can take smartphone photos their patients, and then securely record, archive, manage, and share those photos and videos directly from their iPhone. This allows them to more easily collaborate with their colleagues on patient care.

The app organizes images by Patient Encounter, and never mixes them with personal photos on the phone. Physicians can add ID, notes and consent to Encounters, and can then move them to the patient's EMR. 

The company also offers DizzyFIX, a solution to vertigo, and CLEARSCOPE, an adaptor for mobile endoscopy video.

In 2016, Clearwater Clinical saw triple-digit growth in both revenue and unit sales.

The company says it will use the funds to scale the SHOEBOX side of the business, to grow its sales team throughout North America, while also expanding business initiatives into Europe. 

In addition, Clearwater also said that it will "work closely" with Whitecap Venture Partners on "a number of strategic initiatives including product development, go to market programs, and future financing strategy."

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