Forest Devices added another feather to its cap at The MedTech Conference in Boston, MA where the startup won the MedTech Innovator 2019 Showcase and received a $350,000 grand prize award.
Forest is developing AlphaStroke, the first device designed to detect a stroke in any environment. The portable device uses electroencephalogram monitoring and machine learning to diagnose large vessel occlusions and other stroke subtypes, enabling first responders to triage patients to proper stroke centers. In 2018, the Pittsburgh, PA-based company closed an oversubscribed seed round of $2.3 million led by the GOOSE Society of Texas and other individual investors.
CEO Matt Kesinger, who delivered the winning pitch, said the grand prize funding will support the company's efforts to bring its technology to market.
Forest says that the current gold-standard of treatments in the field are time-limited and inadequate stroke detection and triage leads to missed interventions.
Kesinger was an EMT in Boston, MA for two years where he learned these limitations firsthand. While attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and afterward, he conducted and published research on the difficulties of pre-hospital providers diagnosing stroke. He was part of the team that conducted the largest U.S. study on the identification of large vessel occlusive strokes in the pre-hospital environment. His years of work on this problem led him to create AlphaStroke. In order to develop and bring the technology to market, he co-founded Forest Devices with Dan Willis (chief technology officer) and Steve Morrow (chief financial officer).
MedTech Innovator is the industry’s non-profit global competition for medical devices, digital health, and diagnostic companies. Over 800 companies applied for this year’s program. Of those, 50 were selected to take part in the Medtech Innovator Showcase, and just five were chosen for a final pitch competition at the conference.
Check out the five startups that made it to the final pitch competition at the conference.