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AstraZeneca Partners With Alivecor For Kidney Care Breakthrough

AliveCor’s Kardia-K AI measuring device has attracted AstraZeneca’s attention for its ability to innovatively measure a patient’s potassium level.

The leading pharmaceuticals company and the developer of personal ECG devices based on artificial intelligence are joining forces in an effort to find new solutions to cardio, renal and metabolic issues.

The project will focus on AliveCor’s Kardia-K AI, which is designed to analyse ECGs to measure a patient’s potassium levels without the need to draw blood. Namely, the two companies will work together to bring this technology to real-world disease management and applications.

Aman Bhatti, Head of Bio-pharmaceutical Relationships at AliveCor, highlighted the benefits of the collaboration between the two industries in developing “non-invasive and more accessible medical solutions for patients and healthcare organisations worldwide”, and said that the collaboration illustrates “how pharmaceutical and digital healthcare companies can work together to drive the future of medicine”.

THE IMPORTANCE OF POTASSIUM LEVEL MEASUREMENTS

Potassium levels can indicate potential kidney problems. According to the CDC, 15% of adults in the US, or about 37 million people, currently suffer from some form of chronic kidney disease, a relatively common phenomenon in the United States. 

Some of the health consequences associated with this condition are anaemia and low blood cell counts, increased infections and depression. 

THE BIGGER PICTURE

AliveCor is well known for its mobile ECG device. This month, in an effort to stay ahead of the curve, the company introduced device updates to identify three additional types of heart problems: Sinus rhythm with supraventricular ectopy (SVE), sinus rhythm with premature ventricular contractions (PVC) and sinus rhythm with wide QRS.  

The innovative device seems to attract a number of healthtech investors. Indeed, in November, the company announced a $65 million Series E funding round.  

On the other hand, AstraZeneca is well known for its strong partnerships with innovators in the field of digital health. In fact, the pharmaceutical giant has already successfully collaborated with Renalytix AI to improve kidney disease outcomes.

Outside the field of kidney care, AstraZeneca has also worked with digital startups in the field of respiratory and cardiac care. One example is its collaboration with Propeller Health to couple its Symbicort inhaler with the startup’s sensor and mobile application.

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