STAT earphone in a person’s ear.

Courtesy: STAT

Digital health startup STAT Health has designed a device to help people better understand why they experience symptoms such as dizziness, fainting and brain fog.

STAT Health on Tuesday he announced its new STAT in-ear wearable device that measures blood flow to the head. When users stand up, the handset automatically tracks changes in their heart rate, blood pressure trend, and blood flow, which is useful information for patients who commonly suffer from dizziness and fainting due to illnesses such as prolonged Covid and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), among by others.

Users can track their metrics in an app on their mobile phone and get information on how their lifestyle is affecting their symptoms. The STAT headset has also been shown to predict fainting minutes before it happens, according to peer-reviewed results published in this year’s Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

STAT Health CEO Daniel Lee said the wearable is not diagnostic and not a form of treatment, but that it can serve as a resource for a patient population who are often told their symptoms aren’t real.

“In this population, a lot of doctors can’t really gauge that something is necessarily wrong with them,” Lee said in an interview with CNBC. “They’re told it’s just in their head because there’s no way to measure it. But there is a way to confirm that something is wrong and their experience is legitimate.”

Lee said STAT will help give patients access to real-time information to help them decide when they can push themselves and when they should take it easy.

The co-founders of STAT Health hold the receiver.

Courtesy: STAT

Lee co-founded STAT Health in 2020 with Paul Jin, with whom he previously led Bose’s Health Product Innovation Group. Lee said he set out to build the company after his father, who faints regularly due to heart problems, fainted and broke six ribs.

“He just pushes through it and ends up not being able to predict when it’s going to happen, so he keeps hurting himself a lot,” Lee said. “So that’s where we started, that’s what inspired us to say, ‘Let’s try and see if we can measure something.’

The Boston-based startup has grown to about a dozen employees, and the company has raised $5.1 million in seed funding to date, in addition to separate grant funding it received from the U.S. Air Force.

The STAT wearable case is small and sits in the upper corner of the ear. Its placement means it is compatible with most other devices such as headphones or glasses that sit in or around the ear. Lee said the device is meant to be convenient and users can leave it on while they’re in the shower or sleeping.

The handset consists of an optical sensor, accelerometer, pressure sensor and temperature sensors. The battery lasts over three days, but it’s also equipped with a small solar panel, meaning some users don’t even need to take it off to charge.

“It should be comfortable, stable and have good signal quality in the midst of your normal daily activities,” Lee said.

STAT Health said it is targeting a $50 per month subscription for its device and will aim to lower costs for long-term subscribers over time. The price is still subject to change, but the company is accepting reservation deposits of $1 per handset starting Tuesday. Deposits save space in the queue for early access.

Lee said he thinks the STAT device will ultimately help patients learn about their bodies and what works best for them. “The goal is to give them a tool to measure what matters so they can spend more time living a normal life,” he said.

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