A cough analysis device developed by C-mo Medical Solutions has attracted a new seed investment from venture capital firm Novalis Biotech.

Founded in 2020, C-mo Medical is developing a technology to diagnose and manage cough-incident medical conditions. The device is placed on a patient’s abdominal region and contains sensors that monitor cough frequency, intensity, and coughing type. The device can also characterise coughing patterns – such as increased frequency when lying down or exercising. Although still in its regulatory phase, the company believes the diagnostic capabilities can be used in clinical settings and respiratory research. 

C-mo Medical will use the funds to continue development of the technology and investigate its potential in different applications.

“We want to make sure that we are addressing wider use cases, more diseases, different types of applications of C-Mo, both for the healthcare professionals as well as for the patients,” C-mo Medical Solutions co-founder and CEO, Diogo Tecelao, told Medical Device Network.

Based in Portugal, the company is expecting to receive regulatory approval for the device in 2023 and is eyeing the U.S. market.

“Europe and the US are the top regions with the incidence of chronic cough. So, addressing these markets makes sense to us. We aim to penetrate them as much as possible to reach as many users as we can,” Telecao said.

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The C-mo medical device (Image credit: C-mo Medical Solutions)

According to a report by GlobalData, the wearable tech market is expected to grow to $54.4bn in 2023, as patients seek more autonomy over their care and increase their desire for ‘at home monitoring’.

Telecao said that as well as accurate analytics, the patient and user experience is C-Mo Medical’s priority.

“If the patient can use the device, feel comfortable and do their normal activities that will provide the best outcomes with this cough monitoring technology because the data will be more accurate, both for doctors, patients, and the target user.”

In a statement, Novalis Biotech fund manager Kjell Mortier said the use of cough as a biomarker is currently missing in drug development or treatment.

He added: “We are convinced C-mo’s technology can help to better assess and treat underlying conditions, thereby helping patients to get access to the right treatment.”

The Ghent, Belgium-based venture capital firm joins lead investors Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and participating investors Portugal Ventures and High-Tech Gründerfonds to bring the total of C-Mo’s seed investment round to $4.8m.

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the clinical need for cough analysis – already at market is Owlstone Medical’s breath analyser which can detect viruses. Digital healthcare company, ResApp health, have developed a smartphone application that analyses audio of coughs for a range of respiratory disorders. In September 2022, Pfizer acquired ResApp for $116m.

The future use of digital technology to monitor chronic cough conditions has been welcomed by respiratory researchers, but the technology will need to be approved by regulators if it is to become a staple in medical cough monitoring.