Germany-based VisionHealth has confirmed raising €3 million in pre-series A funds to commercialise its AI-driven digital app for teaching correct ways of using inhalers, treating lung diseases like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
The round was led by DB Specialty Invest, whose owner Dr. Dietrich Bruchmann is joining the VisionHealth board in a non-executive capacity.
With the new funds, VisionHealth is preparing a 120-patient clinical trial, across multiple medical facilities, to validate its Kata app offering real-time guidance on how to draw from an inhaler optimally.
The app has already underwent clinical validation and is now safety sanctioned by the CE licensing board, ahead of commercial launch in Germany and "select European markets".
Funding will support these commercial regulatory pathways while also lining up approvals in the US. Chronic respiratory disease is thought to affect around 250 million people globally - in Germany alone, there's about 8.9 million cases.
The advice given through VisionHealth's app varies to reflect specific inhalers used by the patient, while allowing them to log daily regimen and any subtle changes in their condition. Kata tracks every inhalation via the user's smartphone camera to provide feedback on each inhalation, ensuring the correct dosage reaches their lungs.#
Studies show patients struggle to use inhalers correctly, with estimated error rates averaging at least 32%.
In 2021 VisionHealth rolled out a new product, VisionHealth Clinical, to create new possibilities for sponsors and contract research organisations conducting trials in chronic respiratory disease, leveraging Kata techology to enhance the participants' experience while improving study outcomes. It now plans to explore strategic partnerships to build more custom-made product variants to the "specific needs of the industry."
Dr. Sabine Haeussermann, VisionHealth CEO, commented: "We are excited to back up the very positive proof of concept study results with more data on the efficiency of Kata®. With over 2.400 users since the first release, a stunning 83.3 % told us they would like to continue using the Kata® App in the future; similar amounts of users would recommend the app to friends with respiratory diseases.
"It is truly rewarding to see how we can make a difference for patients and improve health outcomes. We greatly appreciate the continued support of our shareholders and of our new investor, Dr. Bruchmann from Nuvisan.”
Dr. Dietrich Bruchmann, also CEO of Nuvisan Pharma Holding Group, added: "I am eager to see the potential of Kata® unfold, as access for asthma and COPD patients improves.
"Heading a CRO active in the respiratory field, I have also been intrigued by the application of the Kata® Clinical app in clinical trials: Incorrect inhaled admission of therapeutics can be a major error factor."
"Supporting each patient individually via the app on how to administer an inhalator properly improves patient outcomes in everyday life and also the quality of clinical trial results, ensuring maximum benefit from therapy.”