How does aviation technology conceived at
Oxford BioSignals Medical CEO Frank Cheng knows the answer. Even better, he can explain why his startup is poised to add 120 jobs over the next few years.
“At this point, I don’t see anything we can’t do right here in
Formed in 2000, Oxford BioSignals began its life when research scientists in the
In 2003, Rolls-Royce signed a 10-year strategic purchase agreement and began testing the technology in
So the company reconfigured the technology to simultaneously observe the results of medical machines that observe heart rates, blood pressure, breathing rates and the saturation of oxygen in the blood. Along the way, Oxford BioSignals attracted $20 million in venture capital from a syndicate of
Cheng, a former Roche Diagnostics vice president of business development, joined the firm in 2004. He soon led Oxford BioSignals through a clinical trial at
More than 80 percent of hospital alerts are false alarms, Cheng said. They can occur for all sorts of reasons. If a patient coughs, his heart briefly races. This registers on his heart monitor and nurses come running. Over time, they learn to ignore most of these unnecessary warnings, Cheng said. Then, when a real crisis occurs, their response is slowed.
Oxford BioSignals’ analytics software also churns all the data to predict whether a health crisis is imminent.
“We generally have two to four hours’ advance warning compared to other systems,” Cheng said. “When you deal with a crisis, five minutes or a half hour is a crucial time. We’re the smoke alarm for [nurses], to let them know which room has a crisis brewing.”
Oxford BioSignals has seven employees in
Economic developers had to fight to keep the company here. Oxford BioSignals had conducted its second clinical trial at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The steel city attempted to lure Oxford BioSignals with an incentives package of its own.
“We knew we were going to have to really chase this down,” said IEDC’s Life Sciences Director Todd Pederson.
For Indiana Secretary of Commerce Nathan Feltman, Oxford BioSignals’ decision to grow in
“It speaks volumes about the recognition, not just in
For Cheng, the decision boiled down to proximity to potential customers. He’s hoping to market Oxford BioSignals’ device not only to hospitals, but also to life sciences companies developing drugs and medical devices of their own.
In 2001, the FDA tightened its regulations for heart monitoring in pharmaceutical clinical trials, Cheng said. There’s great opportunity in the drug-development market for a device that can accurately and quickly track and report the necessary data gathered from humans and animals.
With its wealth of life sciences activity,