In Times of COVID-19 Darkness, Remote Patient Monitoring Shines a Light for High Risk Patients

June 11, 2020


People with diabetes are not more likely to get COVID-19 than the general population. The problem people with diabetes face is primarily a problem of worse outcomes, not greater chance of contracting the virus.


Early studies have shown that about 25% of people who went to the hospital with severe COVID-19 infections had diabetes.


One in 10 coronavirus patients with diabetes died within the first seven days of hospitalization, and one in five needed a ventilator to breathe, according to a new study by French researchers.


Diabetes is one of the underlying health conditions that health experts believe put people at greater risk for developing more severe symptoms of Covid-19 and the study, published in the journal Diabetologia, seems to confirm this.


One reason is that high blood sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to fight off infections.

It is well known that people with diabetes have increased infection risk, especially for influenza and pneumonia.


Diabetes was previously reported as a major risk factor for mortality in people infected with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza and, more recently, with the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS). Epidemiological studies have quickly and consistently pointed out diabetes as one of the major comorbidities associated with COVID-19 and affecting its severity.


The researchers found that patients who used insulin and other treatments for modifying blood sugar levels did not have a higher risk for developing COVID-19.


It is imperative for diabetics to create a COVID-19 plan as social distancing and shelter in place rules may make it harder to get the supplies and care that you need.


If you start feeling sick, stay home. Check your blood sugar more often than usual. COVID-19 can reduce your appetite and cause you to eat less, which could affect your levels. You also need more fluids than usual when you're sick. Keep water close by, and drink it often.


At Siren, we are dedicated to keeping our high risk patients safe and at home, by allowing them to communicate with their doctor regarding foot health remotely. Our goal is to keep patients safe, connected, and out of the hospital.


Siren Raises $11.8 Million to Power Commercial Expansion of its Smart Fabric Remote Patient Monitoring Solution

May 27, 2020

Siren, a medical device company that has developed breakthrough technology to embed microsensors within fabric, allowing for mass production of affordable, washable smart textiles with remote patient monitoring applications, announced today that it has raised $11.8 million in funding led by Anathem Ventures, with participation from existing investors DCM, Khosla Ventures, 500 Startups, and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. In connection with this Series B round of funding, DCM Partner Jason Krikorian will join Siren’s board and Anathem Managing Partner Crystal McKellar will join Siren as an advisor.


Since its founding in 2015, Siren has raised $22 million across three funding rounds to position itself for commercial expansion, including a previously undisclosed $6.5 million Series A in 2018 and a $3.4 million seed round. Siren was the TechCrunch CES 2017 Hardware Battlefield Winner, and was named 2018 CES Best of Innovation for its innovative smart textile technology. 


Empowering Doctors to Effectively Care for Patients Remotely


Siren’s first commercial product is an FDA-registered temperature monitoring sock that connects wirelessly to a software application, allowing podiatrists to detect early signs of inflammation in patients at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers. The onset of diabetic foot ulcers represents a dangerous condition that, when left unchecked, can lead to serious complications, including amputation. Today, podiatrists largely rely on in-clinic visits to manually monitor the temperature elevations that are the precursor to a diabetic foot ulcer. However, ulcers form in a matter of hours or days and can worsen rapidly between such visits. Siren’s solution enables real-time detection and early intervention, which can prevent the serious complications that result in over 100,000 lower limb amputations every year and cost the US healthcare system over $43 billion annually. 


COVID-19 Changing Healthcare Now and Forever


Siren’s remote monitoring solution is particularly valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows healthcare practitioners to stay engaged with and care for their patients remotely, limiting in-clinic visits to true emergencies while delivering additional services for physician practices through CMS’ recent expansion of Medicare reimbursement for remote patient monitoring services. 


“COVID-19 has changed healthcare now and forever. Digitization and virtual care is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have. Patients need remote patient monitoring to collect and send crucial health data to their physicians. Clinics, by transitioning some medical staff into virtual monitoring, can stay operational, prevent job loss, and allow patients continued access to care,” commented Ran Ma, CEO of Siren. “Additionally, as a medical device company, we have changed the way that we do business - how we make sales, provide customer support, and how our products work. The companies who not only survive, but thrive, are the ones best able to evolve and help their customers adapt to this new world.”


Series B lead and Anathem Ventures Managing Partner Crystal McKellar said, “Technology, at its best, should deliver higher functionality at a fraction of the cost. In the healthcare space, this means improving patient outcomes while reducing the financial burden to the system. Siren’s breakthrough technology combines all of these important adoption drivers, and I am thrilled to partner with Siren to help further the company’s growth.” 


DCM Partner Jason Krikorian, a long-time Siren investor who co-led Siren’s 2016 seed round, noted, “When we initially invested, what I saw was a resourceful team and a creative and elegant product that would represent an enormous improvement for patient care and cost-effective physician workflows in any environment.  The current pandemic has made it clear that remote monitoring solutions will be a critical part of any physician’s practice.  I’m excited to work even closer with the team on this next phase of growth.”


About Siren


Siren is a technology company founded in 2015 by Ran Ma, Henk Jan Scholten, and Jie Fu that has developed proprietary technology to embed microsensors into fabric, allowing for the mass production of affordable, washable smart textiles. Siren’s products seamlessly integrate into their users’ everyday lives while providing real-time biofeedback to patients and their doctors. Siren’s first commercial product is an FDA-registered temperature monitoring sock for the early detection of inflammation that leads to diabetic foot ulcers, which costs the health system over $43 billion a year and leads to over 100,000 lower limb amputations annually in the United States.


About DCM 


DCM is a venture capital firm with over $4 billion under management. Since 1996, DCM has invested in more than 400 technology companies across the U.S. and Asia. With offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Tokyo, DCM empowers its entrepreneurs with hands-on operational guidance and a global network of business and financial resources.


About Anathem Ventures 


Anathem Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund that invests in the Seed to Series B rounds of great companies that have developed breakthrough technology with strong IP protection that they are leveraging to win and own well-defined, high-margin markets. Anathem is located in Jackson Square in the heart of San Francisco.


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Dr. Rimi Statkus Explains Tech Behind Siren Socks

May 13, 2020

Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists are offering cutting edge technology and care delivered by a top notch team to distinguish themselves in the field of podiatry. We are thrilled to have them integrate Siren in to their practice. Watch as Dr. Statkus explains how Remote Patient Monitoring technology and the Siren Sock System is keeping high risk patients monitored from the safety of their own home.


Where Telehealth Stops and Remote Patient Monitoring Starts

May 12, 2020

REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING vs Telehealth: Which is right for you?

COVID-19 has brought to light for patients and providers the importance of Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth. While they are often lumped in one large “Telemedicine” category and are both valuable in their own ways, these two modalities are in fact different.

What is Remote Patient Monitoring?

Remote Patient Monitoring (often abbreviated as RPM) is a method of healthcare delivery that uses the latest advances in IT to gather patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings. It’s about using technologies to bridge the gap between traditional physical settings of your clinic and people living their every day lives. The most effective RPM systems often consist of consumer-friendly, wearable tech products that seamlessly integrate in to the users life, and a platform for clinics to streamline the data collected and provide a clear picture of the patients health. RPM is giving clinicians the power to know what’s actually occurring with their patients on a daily basis, as it happens, vs relying on their routine scheduled check in, or even a check in via telehealth. Patients are provided with a steady stream of biometric data to the healthcare professionals monitoring their treatment. It automates the process to an extent that makes it easier for both individual and provider to keep on top of the situations in real-time.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth was originally created as a way to treat patients who were located in remote places, far away from local health facilities or in areas with shortages of medical professionals. While it is still used today to address these problems, it is increasingly becoming a tool for convenient basic medical care.  In short, telehealth is the practice of medicine using electronic and telecommunications technologies (think zoom, facetime, skype, etc.) and services to provide care from a distance. Today’s connected patient wants to waste less time in the waiting room at the doctors, and get immediate care for minor conditions when they need it. Telehealth can be used as a tool, but maybe not a solution for high risk patients. It should be used to screen patients, triage patients, and care for patients who do not need medical intervention.


As we know, COVID-19 can be harmful and even fatal for people with compromised health, and both Remote Patient Monitoring and Telehealth can help these patients avoid exposure. While telehealth can provide routine care for patients with chronic disease who are at high risk, it is limited in proactively alerting the patient or physician of potential ailments as remote patient monitoring can do.


Siren has the best in class Remote Patient Monitoring solution to continuously track foot temperature, keeping patients and providers connected by helping track issues related to inflammation or injury. Temperature monitoring, in contrast to visual checks alone, has been shown to improve outcomes related to ulcers by 87%.*


Contact us to learn more about our Siren Smart Sock system.


For more information on RPM and Podiatry, click here.