Houston We Have completes acquisition of Echo IQ, launches itself into cardiovascular disease market
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The acquisition of Echo IQ by augmented intelligence data company Houston We Have (ASX:HWH) has just been completed following an exhaustive due diligence process.
Echo IQ is a medtech platform that operates a predictive artificial intelligence (AI) model focused on the prevention of the heart condition known as Aortic Stenosis (AS).
Through the acquisition, HWH has obtained 17 years of exclusive access to the NEDA database, which is the world’s largest source of data linked to at-risk patients with AS.
AS is statistically one of the most common types of heart valve disease suffered by those over 65 years.
“The Echo IQ acquisition provides a tremendous opportunity for the company to leverage its expertise in AI-driven decision making into one of the world’s largest health markets, cardiovascular disease,” commented HWH chairman, Andrew Grover.
Echo IQ was acquired by HWH in March for $2.5m, comprised of $1m in cash and $1.5m worth of HWH shares priced at 5c.
The first application for the Echo IQ platform will be the Aortic Stenosis Phenotyper, which has been specifically developed for detection of a mortality risk associated with AS.
Early intervention and detection is paramount in reducing mortality risk in AS patients, according to experts.
While AS will be the primary focus in the short term, HWH has also commenced initiatives to enable the Echo IQ platform to expand its diagnostic capabilities into other common cardio-related conditions.
For this, the company has identified a number of target industry segments which includes valve manufacturers, specialist cardiologists/clinics, as well as producers of Echo machines.
To capture these markets, HWH has commenced strategic engagements with globally recognised leaders in the respective industry segments.
In particular, HWH is engaging with consultants in the US to ensure the required regulatory approvals for Echo IQ are met.
The first step in the process will be a US FDA approval, which will be a significant target milestone.
And along with trademarking and commercial protections, HWH will also pursue clinical trial work to demonstrate and support the efficacy of the Echo IQ platform.
Since the acquisition announcement, Echo IQ has been bolstering its team, with key appointments being made in technology, data science and marketing and communications.
Industry specialists and specialist medical advisors such as internationally published cardiologists have also been appointed recently.
At the time of acquisition, the NEDA database used for AI development comprised 530,000 records.
The database has now increased to around 1.4 million records, significantly expanding the dataset from which HWH will develop enhanced algorithms and diagnostic capability using the Echo IQ platform.
It’s expected this database will continue to grow significantly in the coming years, as more than 1 million Echocardiograms are performed in Australia each year.
This will provide the HWH with a robust dataset for further cardio diagnostic development opportunities.
“We have the potential to improve patient outcomes based on our unique access to the NEDA database, which importantly, continues to grow, providing an extensive dataset for us to develop enhanced algorithms and diagnostic capability across a number of cardiology related indications,” said Grover.