Today (Wednesday), Israeli startup EyeControl, which develops a system that tracks the eye-movement of ventilated patients, allowing them a channel for communication with family and medical personnel, announced a $7.5 million Series A funding round. The investment was led by Menomadin Foundation, Benslie International Ltd., Clive Barret and Connecticut Innovations, along with the company’s existing investors including Impact First, Zora Ventures, Rimonci Capital, and few different private investors.
It all started as an ALS solution but works COVID too
The innovative medical device allows ventilated patients to communicate with their surroundings by fitting the patient with a screenless device mounted on their head. By utilizing eye-tracking technology and a special algorithm the system enables ventilated patients, especially COVID-related patients, to communicate with their family and physicians remotely and without talking.
The remote communication device has become even more relevant as we battle the Coronavirus and see the numbers of ventilated patients skyrocket. EyeControl’s system not only gives patients back some sort of connection to the outside world as they lay motionless in quarantine but also provides yet another much-needed telehealth measure for doctors and medical personnel to communicate with infected ventilated patients from afar. The medical communication device has already received CE and FDA clearance, as well as approval from Israel’s Ministry of Health, and has been adopted by UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
The company was founded in 2015 by Itai Kornberg, Or Retzkin, and Shay Rishoni (of blessed memory) along with Prize4Life foundation, of which he was President. The idea for the product grew out of a shared experience of close personal connection to ALS patients. In addition to the $7.5 million Series A funding round, the company also won a $2.5 million grant from the Enhanced European Innovation Council’s (EIC) COVID-19 Pilot Program, as they produced a crucial and effective solution for caring for ventilated COVID-19 patients. EyeControl previously won first place in the ‘Future Tech’ category, as part of Geektime Next convention’s Startup Arena competition.
In response to the round, EyeControl CEO and co-founder Or Retzkin noted: “We thank both new and existing investors for the vote of confidence they bestowed on us. However, it’s not only their financial backing that has earned our gratitude but also their vast expertise and professional connections that assist the company’s day-to-day and strategic evolution.” Retzkin further adds that “there is an amazing combination of quality teamwork, a deep connection with the company’s goal, and unique technology that is focused on bridging the communication gap between ventilated patients and their families and medical personnel. As well as providing a forward-thinking solution for Delirium, which is associated with lack of communication.”
EyeControl has incorporated the company’s personnel relations with “locked-in” patients to the innovative thinking of Israel’s tech ecosystem to provide patients with improved channels of care, as well as a potential last goodbye to family and loved ones.