Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. (NYSE: SFE), a holding company that provides growth capital and operational support to healthcare and technology companies, deployed $1.33 million as part of a $14.8 million financing for Sotera Wireless, Inc., a San Diego, Calif.-based medical device company that has developed a new wireless patient monitoring platform called ViSi Mobile ®. Sotera will use the proceeds from this financing to build out its sales network and channel distribution partners.
In addition to Safeguard, participants in this round included new investor Delphi Ventures and existing investors Sanderling Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated acting through its venture investment group Qualcomm Ventures, EDBI, Intel Capital, Cerner Capital and West Health Investment Fund.
Sotera’s ViSi Mobile platform is a comprehensive vital signs monitoring system that is designed to keep clinicians connected to their patients, whether in or out of bed, or while in transport—“monitoring in motion.” Featuring comfortable body-worn sensors that allow for freedom of movement, the system enables highly accurate, continuous monitoring of all vital signs. The ViSi Mobile system offers an effective, economical solution to enable hospitals to monitor their entire patient population in real time. By some estimates, around 60 percent of the approximately 1,000,000 U.S. hospital beds are not continuously monitored. As a result, an avoidable death occurs every five minutes at U.S. hospitals due solely to inadequate patient monitoring. Global demand could significantly increase that opportunity.
“Sotera is led by an experienced management team of healthcare and business professionals who have a track record of building successful businesses,” said James A. Datin, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Safeguard, who joined Sotera’s board of directors. “We believe that Sotera’s ViSi Mobile addresses a large market, with the opportunity to revolutionize the way hospitals monitor patient vital signs. ViSi Mobile fills an unmet medical need, has the potential to reduce healthcare spending, and can rapidly improve patient management while achieving significant growth. Through this financing, we can provide Sotera with the necessary resources to help increase ViSi Mobile’s penetration into hospitals throughout the United States, and encourage the development of other, complementary products that build upon Sotera’s proprietary technology.”“With $14.8 million in additional capital, we believe that we can accelerate our commercialization and clinical development, and expand the availability of ViSi Mobile to the more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States,” said Tom Watlington, CEO of Sotera. “In addition, we are excited that Safeguard has joined our board of directors. Safeguard is a highly-respected organization with an impressive track record backing successful medical device commercialization and marketing efforts, and we look forward to the value they can bring to us through their domain expertise and partnership.” Safeguard has a 7.7 percent primary ownership stake in Sotera, with the potential to raise that ownership stake to 20 percent in certain scenarios.