Athena GTX, a Des Moines-based manufacturer of wireless medical monitoring devices, announced it has received $900,000 in matching funds from an international foundation to jointly develop a monitoring device with an Israeli startup company. The diagnostic medical device, which Athena GTX will develop jointly with New NI Medical Ltd., will enable doctors to remotely diagnose patients with progressive diseases such as heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

 

The Israeli-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation will provide a $900,000 grant for the project, which the companies will match. The BIRD Foundation, which was established in 1977 by the U.S. and Israeli governments to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries' technology industries, has invested more than $300 million in projects that have generated direct and indirect sales totaling more than $10 billion.

 

The combination of Athena GTX's Web-based tracking technology with New NI Medical's sensing technology will enable doctors for the first time to "independently and non-invasively diagnose progressive diseases from their smartphones," the companies said in a press release.

 

The companies estimate the project will generate approximately $70 million in revenues in its first five years.

 

Athena GTX, which in October received the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Celebrate Business and Economic Impact Award for Innovation in the small company category, is led by Mark Darrah, who in 2007 moved the company's headquarters  from California. The company designs and builds a variety of wireless medical monitoring device that were first used by U.S. special forces teams and are now used by emergency medical responders in both the military and civilian markets.Read more

 

Development of the portable monitoring device will take place jointly in Des Moines by Athena GTX and at New NI Medical's development center in Hod Hasharon, Israel. Initial demonstrations of the technology will be conducted in Tampa, Fla., under the direction of a pulmonary and sleep clinic practice.

 

In 2012, approximately 308,000 patients were remotely monitored by health care providers worldwide for progressive conditions, including heart failure, COPD, diabetes, high blood pressure and mental health conditions, a market that's projected to expand to 1.8 million patients as the health care industry works to reduce hospital readmission rates.