Spin-off of imec Netherlands develops user-friendly wearable for sleep diagnosis
The Eindhoven startup Onera, a spin-off of imec Netherlands, gets funded by Imec.xpand and BOM Brabant Ventures. The amount has not been published. Onera manufactures medical wearables for sleep diagnosis. Together with TNO, Imec Netherlands is part of the Holst Centre at the High Tech Campus. Onera wants to use the funding to develop a patient-friendly, cost-saving device for home use that diagnoses just as accurately as devices used in sleep laboratories.
Sleep-related problems are a growing problem in the healthcare sector. In recent years, innovations have focused on developing simple screening devices such as smart watches or mattress sensors that often provide limited and inaccurate information about sleep quality. With the new equipment, Onera wants to compete with the ‘golden standard’, the best possible diagnostics with superior hardware and advanced algorithms, combined with maximum wearing comfort. Because the equipment can be used at home, the company expects to bring about a huge change in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.
“Offer all patients with sleep problems access to a simple device with comfortable sensors”
Ruben de Francisco, Onera’s managing director, and co-founder: “Many sleep disorders are not yet diagnosed because there is no reliable alternative to expensive and inconvenient equipment used in sleep laboratories. It is our mission to offer all patients with sleep problems access to a simple device with comfortable sensors, which they can also use at home.”
John Baekelmans (Managing Director & VP imec the Netherlands) was personally involved in the funding process for Onera: “At imec, we provide startups with mature technology and access to funding. This stable foundation will boost the growth of Onera’s team and shorten the time to market – all very crucial for a startup.”
Imec.xpand invests in companies that have the potential to become ground-breaking global players. Tom Vanhoutte, investment partner at imec.xpand: “We are convinced that the Onero team, also thanks to the cooperation with imec, has all the tools, skills and expertise to become the ultimate supplier of sleep diagnostics.”
BOM says it is helping to invest because Onera “fits perfectly into the Brabant ecosystem”. Investment manager Jurgen van Eck: “Brabant has a world-class supply chain and a great deal of expertise in the field of medical equipment, sensoring, and chip design. We are pleased to be able to support the company in this way.”