Funding for the service, which recently launched an app in the UK, was led by a private investor with additional investment from Plug and Play Ventures. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, Hyfe uses machine learning algorithms to detect cough and cough frequency in real-time. Until now, it has not been possible to quantify coughs and gather these unprecedented, objective and clinical insights for health providers and patients alike.
Hyfe’s initial funding round will pave the way for the next stage of its ambitious road map, it claims. This latest investment will support Hyfe as it develops its platform while strengthening its existing team with hires across research and development, machine learning, data science and software development. The company, which has amassed a large global base of active users, is planning to expand across further European regions in the coming months, with an initial focus on France and Germany.
Hyfe provides researchers, health professionals and regular users with dashboards that enable them to continuously measure, monitor and understand symptoms. This improves the quality of care for hospital networks, pharma, and insurers, it claims. The smartphone app tracks coughs from ambient sounds, garnering significant amounts of relevant health data to support its acoustic epidemiology platform so that Hyfe’s machine learning algorithms can objectively measure a health behavior that has, until now, been measured subjectively.
Respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of death and disability in the world. WHO statistics reveal that around 334 million people suffer from asthma worldwide, while millions die prematurely every year from tuberculosis, pneumonia, lung cancer and other chronic respiratory illnesses. In addition to this, the app which began development in a pre-COVID era aims to help curb the spread of the virus, which now has more than 125 million confirmed cases globally.
Developed by Co-founders Joe Brew, Paul Rieger and Iulian Circo, Hyfe’s original function was to aid populations in areas that suffer from heavy pollution, which contributes to chronic respiratory conditions. They subsequently realised that passive monitoring of coughing habits can be of huge benefit to individuals in any region, experiencing any respiratory illness, and decided to take a global approach.
Commenting on the closure of the seed round Hyfe Co-Founder and CEO Joe Brew said:
“This is a very exciting time for Hyfe. We’re seeing our numbers of monthly users grow exponentially in the United States and Europe since the pandemic took hold and this funding will enable us to further improve our acoustic diagnostic technology. It gives us the runway to accelerate our research and development efforts and to act on the valuable insights we have been gathering from our community of users.
“We are thrilled to begin Hyfe’s next phase, and we’re confident that our research will lead to significant developments in our acoustic diagnostics technology, as well as demonstrate real benefit to individual health awareness.”