CWRU alumni create healthcare tracking platform; will showcase at Consumer Electronics Show

Katie Wieser, Executive Editor

A business usually begins with the idea. The perfect product or service to fill a market need. But sometimes, like in the case of SpiroSano, the business began with a great partnership. Jacob Glenn and Radu Iancu worked together and found that they made a great team. Glenn had a strong business sense, knowing what a team needed and how to find success. Iancu had the networking and business growth strength, able to talk to anyone and everyone needed to fuel his ideas. Both moved on to new opportunities, but kept in touch. The two hoped to go into business together and achieved their goal with M Genio, a consulting firm based out of Cleveland.

In 2013, the team started thinking about another big idea. Iancu had been thinking about a solution for tracking health data easily and remotely. Technology was getting to the point where this idea was suddenly feasible and Glenn joined him to found SpiroSano, a health tracking platform which can be incorporated with many different devices and used by doctors to track their patients’ condition via a digital platform.

SpiroSano | Image courtesy SpiroSano

SpiroSano is specifically created to track respiratory conditions (asthma and COPD) and allows patients to track the activities and episodes their doctors need to keep updated on their progress. “The platform can be used for any disease but we focused on respiratory conditions because we believe you have to have a disease-specific approach to meet the needs of the doctor and the patient. And the market for respiratory and the devices combined make that a logical place to start,” said Glenn.

The patients can use any product that has been integrated into SpiroSano’s technology kit to input this information and doctors use the SpiroSano dashboard to look at all the information over time and develop disease control techniques. “It’s a doctor-driven platform where a doctor decides what data they want to keep track of for their patients. It’s patient-centric and device agnostic in the sense that there’s a bunch of ways that a patient can choose to track the information their doctors need to know,” said Glenn.

At this point, SpiroSano is conducting their initial trial with one doctor and 20 patients. This phase is expected to be finished in the first quarter of 2015 when the team will move on to a slightly larger test to gather the amount of data needed to sell their product on the market.

It’s clear that this type of technological solution was needed in today’s data-rich health market. But the technology is also a perfect fit for the founders. Glenn graduated in Case Western Reserve University’s first Master of Engineering and Management program class in 2003 and has a passion for software and consulting. Iancu was a computer programmer before earning his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from CWRU and his MD from Carol Davila University. This blend of technology and health was perfect for the team and for the Cleveland area. SpiroSano has already benefited from the local medical community, attending an innovation summit hosted by Cleveland Clinic. At this event, Glenn and Iancu were able to present to HealthXL, a non-profit that brings together large corporations to work towards large goals. SpiroSano is now communicating with a few of these corporations to see what they can contribute.

The team is looking to keep moving forward at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January. Iancu and Glenn will show their products to potential partners and is hoping to integrate more health devices. “The way we’ve built our platform, we can integrate a Bluetooth device in 24 hours.

It’s just a matter of finding the right devices and integrating them. CES is a great fit for us because everyone will be there,” said Glenn. CWRU’s own Blackstone Launchpad and think[box] have helped SpiroSano to prepare for the show and provided the financial resources needed to exhibit at a booth. The organizations’ assistance was vital in moving SpiroSano towards the goal of device integration without a large financial cost to the company.

Another goal the team is hoping to achieve at CES is one that CWRU may also become involved with. SpiroSano is hoping to get involved with universities to team up with biomedical engineering students with big ideas. There are a lot of components needed to set up a digital health device in today’s market, but SpiroSano is looing to help. “One of the things we’re trying to do is to create a model where a student who has an idea for a device can take a pre-defined hardware chip that has our protocol built into it and basically use that chip in their device and they’re automatically connected to our platform where they can have that infrastructure available to them,” said Glenn. The team is looking to make connections with chip makers at CES as well.

These may seem like lofty goals for a one-week event, but SpiroSano is looking to make large strides quickly. And with the help of connections that can be made in this tech mecca, this dream team’s next innovation could be right around the corner.