Development of a Biowearable Device for Monitoring Chronic Kidney Disease by Metyos

For his next trick the Paris-based robotics entrepreneur is fronting work on a far lighter kind of wearable: An arm-worn patch for monitoring chronic kidney disease (CKD). At the same time rising costs of healthcare provision has increased pressure on services to find smarter ways to tackle expensive issues like chronic disease management, without compromising quality of service. Biowearables offer a potential route to help square this circle for a range of chronic health conditions. At the same time Boulanger’s co-founder, Chashchina, was dealing with a chronic health condition. Metyos cites statistics which suggest there are more than 800 million CKD patients globally.

Alexandre Boulanger is a well-known name in the world of robotics and technology, thanks to his work on building self-balancing exoskeletons at Wandercraft. However, his latest venture may see him stepping away from heavy machinery and into the realm of biowearables.

As the CEO of Metyos, a medtech startup based in Paris, Boulanger is leading the charge on developing a new kind of wearable technology: an arm-worn patch designed to monitor chronic kidney disease (CKD). Co-founded with CTO Olga Chashchina, who holds a PhD in biomedical engineering, Metyos combines expertise in robotics and biosensor technology to create a wearable that aims to improve the lives of those living with CKD.

Rising Demand for Biowearables:

In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in interest in biowearables, driven by advancements like the commercialization of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for diabetes management. With the rising costs of healthcare, there is increasing pressure to find more efficient ways to manage chronic diseases, without sacrificing the quality of care. Biowearables offer a promising solution for a variety of health conditions.

Metyos’ Approach:

Metyos’ ultimate goal is to develop an arm-worn, real-time sensing technology similar to that used in diabetes management, but with a focus on tracking biomarkers for CKD. The company envisions its biowearables being prescribed by doctors as part of a remote treatment management package for patients, allowing doctors to remotely monitor potential warning signs and progression of the disease.

  • The wearable will monitor ions and minerals in the bloodstream, detecting changes that may signal kidney dysfunction.
  • The data will be sent to a smartphone app via Bluetooth, allowing patients to track their own health and receive personalized recommendations, such as dietary changes.
  • The data will also be stored on a secure cloud server, accessible to healthcare professionals for remote monitoring.

Metyos’ approach has the potential to empower patients by giving them a more active role in their own care. This is a strategy that aligns with the growing consumer expectations for access to information and involvement in their healthcare decisions.

Behind the Scenes:

Metyos started its journey in 2021 with some initial funding from Boulanger himself and a public grant. The team has already built a prototype and conducted preliminary tests, but the true potential of the technology will be revealed in the upcoming clinical trials.

The company has recently raised €2.3 million in a pre-seed round to support the next stage of development, with lead investors including Cenitz, Bpifrance, and KIMA Ventures.

The Road Ahead:

As a medtech startup, Metyos is committed to obtaining regulatory approval before bringing their technology to market. They are aiming for this by the end of 2025. Currently, the focus is on the European and US markets, where the reimbursement for remote patient monitoring exists or is under development.

What Inspired the Idea?

“I had gained a lot of weight, so I became interested in nutrition tracking and biochemistry tracking,” Boulanger reveals in an interview with TechCrunch.

“At the same time, my co-founder, Chashchina, was dealing with a chronic health condition. So when we met, our interests aligned on the idea of building a biowearable. She needed a tool to help her with her daily management, so we started with the user/patient point of view and partnered with doctors to refine the clinical needs.”

Targeting CKD:

Metyos has a specific focus on the CKD market, citing statistics that suggest there are over 800 million CKD patients globally. Boulanger explains, “CKD is one of the major chronic diseases in terms of prevalence, mortality, and cost. It is a progressive disease with no cure, so it can be crucial for patients to slow down or stop its progression. We believe remote monitoring allows us to anticipate adverse events, enabling clinicians to make timely decisions and patients to be more involved in their own care.”

Metyos plans to start with end-stage patients with hyperkalemia issues and expand to earlier stage patients as well. While the competition in the biowearable space is growing, Metyos sets itself apart by its focus on CKD. The startup lists five main competitors: Biolinq, Alio, Protonintel, Kalium Health, and Renalyse. However, Metyos stands out as the only one specifically targeting kidney conditions. Moreover, their unique approach of real-time data collection sets them apart from competitors that rely on at-home blood draws for patient tracking.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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