August 31, 2023 at 8:54 AM PDT
Aseptiscope Announces Upcoming Growth Funding Round for Commercialization Of DiskCover Stethoscope Hygiene System
Aseptiscope will soon launch its Series B growth funding round, as it gears up to commercialize its DiskCover System, which seeks to address the problem of stethoscope contamination.
San Diego, California, Aug. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Aseptiscope®, a California-headquartered medical innovation startup, has announced that it will soon open its Series B/growth funding round, in preparation for the commercialization of its DiskCover™ stethoscope hygiene system.
Doctors and other medical professionals use a stethoscope on patients an estimated 5 billion times each year in the US alone, yet these devices are rarely sanitized between patients. Because of its frequent contact from person to person, the close association between a physician’s hands and their stethoscope has earned it the apt nickname “the clinician’s third hand” in medical literature. While there has been significant attention on hand hygiene, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, stethoscope hygiene has been relatively unnoticed.
Healthcare-associated infections remain a serious and costly challenge in the USA, resulting in the death of nearly 100,000 patients annually and adding direct and indirect costs of nearly $147 billion. The problem persists in the face of favorable results from hand hygiene efforts as hospital-acquired infection rates remain high. The stethoscope, the clinician’s third hand, is cleaned less than 10% of the time between patients. Moreover, cleaning alone may not be the answer as bacteria frequently continue to thrive on the stethoscope diaphragm. Aseptic stethoscope barriers present a validated, practical, and effective solution to this daunting healthcare problem.
The DiskCover® System allows clinicians to apply a single-use, disk cover barrier on their stethoscope in a touch-free, near-instantaneous manner, acting as a glove for the clinician’s third hand. It consists of a wall-mounted, motion-activated dispenser loaded with a Clean Cassette®. Each cassette contains 420 disks and preserves them in an aseptic environment until it is applied to a stethoscope. The application process takes only a second, with the user waving their hand under the dispenser and then placing the stethoscope’s diaphragm into the dispenser’s port to apply the disk, which is acoustically invisible and features a peel-off tab for easy removal. Alpesh Amin, MD, University of California Professor of Medicine and Chair, Department of Medicine, quantifies this time-saving as having both financial value and direct healthcare benefit.
In a recently published multicenter study, more than 95% of clinicians it surveyed have said that the DiskCover system was easy to use, that it had a neutral or favorable impact on workflow, and that it will improve stethoscope hygiene compliance and patient safety. Furthermore, the presence of the dispenser in the ward or doctor’s office and the visible act of applying a disk cover gets the patient’s attention and gives them a feeling of safety and confidence in the institution. This is especially important with the pandemic making many people wary of going to the hospital or emergency room due to the risk of catching an infection.
Aseptiscope finished its Series A round in late 2021, and it is wrapping up a $4 million note program, featuring a significant amount of reinvestment from both founders and A round participants. The company is gearing up for a growth capital investment round, where the funds raised will be used to ramp up its sales and manufacturing capabilities. The capital will drive the adoption of the DiskCover System, not just in the US, but also internationally. Aseptiscope estimates that its total global addressable market for this first product alone exceeds $6 billion
Once the DiskCover System has been successfully commercialized, Aseptiscope is planning to release similar products that apply the aseptic technique, the gold standard for infection control, to other healthcare touchpoints. It is working on the prototypes for a touch-free hand hygiene system and an ultrasound probe barrier system. Aseptiscope Co-Founder and CEO Scott W. Mader says that the company will continue to explore more solutions in this area, as its intellectual property family is built around the touch-free delivery of an aseptic barrier to its target. Alpesh Amin, Professor of Medicine at UC Irvine, and author of ‘The Clinician’s Third Hand’ has lobbied for greater stethoscope hygiene for years and maintains that aseptic solutions will not only advance patient safety but also provide clinicians more time to engage with their patients directly.
Founded in 2016, Aseptiscope was already on a mission to improve the hygiene of medical devices such as stethoscopes, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected its capability to launch the DiskCover system due to lockdown mandates and supply chain issues. Prior to Aseptiscope, Mader ran the commercial division at San Diego-based Biosite, a biomedical company specializing in point-of-care biomarker diagnostics. The company, whose BNP test is now a standard procedure for diagnosing heart failure, was acquired in 2007 for $1.6 billion by a major medical technology company based in Scotland.
“Aseptiscope is now on the precipice of commercializing its innovative DiskCover system, in the face of an enormous unmet need regarding stethoscope contamination,” Mader says. “Today, there are huge innovations in areas of medicine, such as gene splicing and targeted therapies, that are very important but are also relatively obscure. Every human being is touched by the stethoscope, an iconic symbol of medicine, and one that continues to provide unique value in examinations in the U.S. and around the world. However, it has also been a culprit in healthcare-associated infections. On the side of each DiskCover dispenser, it says ‘Protect Your Patient’, “With regard to the contaminated stethoscope, the healthcare provider has never had innovation that facilitated this solution, until now”, says co-founder and CEO Scott W. Mader.
Name: Scott Westhaver Mader
Article from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2023-08-31/aseptiscope-announces-upcoming-growth-funding-round-for-commercialization-of-diskcover-stethoscope-hygiene-system