Bone Health Technologies raises $5M as it readies for launch

Steven Loeb · March 4, 2024 · Short URL:

The Osteoboost wearable uses vibrations to keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis

Bone Health Technologies (BHT) is a developer of a hardware device for improving bone health using vibrations, helping the 44 million Americans with osteopenia, which is mild to moderate bone density loss, as well as the 10 million have osteoporosis, which is severe bone density loss. 

BHT's solution called the Osteoboost, a two-pound belt that patients can wear while doing their daily activities, which uses vibrations to help keep their bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.  

Now the company is getting ready for the final development stages of its wearable, which is expected to launch later this year, and so it has announced a $5 million funding round from Esplanade Ventures, Berkeley Catalyst Fund, as well as strategic investor and medical technology provider Terumo Medical.

Along with the funding, Ella Seitz of Esplanade Ventures and Yushin Yazaki of Terumo were appointed as board observers at BHT. 

"Ella is an experienced digital health and women’s health investor with experience in strategy and go-to-market. Yushin brings the perspective of the Japanese market which is a very high-priority market for us, as Japan has the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world," Laura Yecies, CEO of Bone Health Technologies, told VatorNews.

The technology that BHT is using is based on NASA research, which proved that vibration would improve bone health in astronauts by having them stand on plate that would send vibration up through the skeleton. The problem with the plates used by the NASA astronauts was that they're very expensive and hard to use, as you have to stand on them doing nothing, since your knees need to be locked.

The founders of BHT took this idea of the whole body vibration and localized it: not only can it device be worn anywhere, but the vibrations are applied directly to the sacrum, which is the vertebra at the end of the spine.

"We’ve made tremendous progress in the last two years: key areas include wrapping up the pivotal trial demonstrating strong efficacy, new NIA/NIH CRP, UCSF trial, multiple patents, new version of the belt, a new iOS app, new board members with strong expertise in commercialization, and capped off with FDA Clearance," said Yecies.

So far, 234 people have used Osteoboost in clinical trials, and the company was able to show  dramatic reduction in bone loss, with women between 50 and 60 seeing a 2.9% preservation of L1 vertebra strength. Meanwhile, participants who wore the device 3 times a week had preservation of 2.4% in L1 strength and an 82% reduction in the rate of bone strength loss.

This is important because, while bone loss affects both genders, it's a particularly big issue for women: one half of all women over the age of 50 will have a fracture due to osteoporosis, usually on their hip, wrist, or spine. 

"We aim to deliver a comprehensive solution to improve bone health and reduce fractures through a combination of the device, digital therapeutic and clinical services," said Yecies.

"This is an enormous market opportunity: there are no non-pharmacological prescription treatments for low bone density and nothing specific for osteopenia. Having a safe early intervention for this condition that affects so many people is very exciting."

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes