MedRhythms Raises $ 25 Million to Get Patients Back in Tune After Stroke – TechCrunch

MedRhythms secured $ 25 million in Series B funding to advance its digital therapy platform aimed at measuring and improving a person’s ability to walk after they have experienced neurological injury or disease.

Morningside Ventures and Advantage Capital co-led the round, with the participation of current investor Werth Family Investment Associates, to provide the Portland, Maine-based company with $ 31 million in financing to date.

The company’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Harris, was a neurological music fellow at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, treating people with strokes and brain deficiencies to music. He began receiving questions from patients and families about how they could access similar care outside of the hospital. Seeing no suitable alternative, he founded MedRhythms with businessman Owen McCarthy in 2016.

The company’s platform uses sensors, music and software, along with an evidence-based intervention called “rhythmic auditory stimulation,” to target the neural circuits that control movement. The technology takes advantage of “entrainment,” a neurological process in which the brain’s auditory and motor systems engage in sync with an external rhythmic signal that, over time, can lead to improvements in gait functions.

“There is no other stimulus that engages the brain like music does,” Harris said. “When someone is into music, they help neuroplasticity to create new connections and strengthen old ones. Neuroplasticity is how we can learn new things or why people with brain deficits can improve. “

MedRhythms Product Cycle. Image credits: MedRhythms

A year ago, MedRhythms’ digital therapeutic product received Innovative Device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for treating chronic walking deficits as a result of stroke. It is the first in the company’s portfolio of projects, which is also considering the use of music to treat neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, acute stroke and multiple sclerosis. To this end, he is participating in a neuroimaging study with Massachusetts General Hospital.

Harris intends to use the proceeds from the Series B funds to bring the product to market, expand the equipment and the treatment line. The company is preparing to submit it to the FDA so that it can conduct a commercial launch of the technology and begin clinical trials.

Stephen Bruso, investment partner at Morningside, said he has known the MedRhythms team for a year. The firm is active in the digital health space and has followed the company closely ever since.

COVID served to fundamentally change healthcare in the way we deliver care. Hospital and clinic models were robust, but resistant to change until the pandemic forced attention to telemedicine visits at home, he said. It also forced innovation in the industry, and home therapy is one area where Bruso hopes to see improvement in both compliance and patient recovery, and MedRhythms is capitalizing on that trend to move care to the home.

What intrigued the company in recent months was the idea of ​​affecting the brain through non-pharmaceutical needs.

“MedRhythms that uses musical intervention to drive changes and improvements in neurology is compelling,” added Bruso. “Emotional memory is linked to music. Using it provides a richer experience than taking a drug, and the company exists to take advantage of that. “

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