Sotera Wireless Prepares to Take Pulse of Market for Vital-Signs Device

5/11/10

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starting to happen,” he said. “Right now, that period is a black hole with very little monitoring or follow-up care.”

Watlington says the device will be competitively priced, perhaps $2,000-$3,000 a piece.

Founded in 2004, Sotera has raised about $36 million in private equity funding. After its recent financing, Sotera has enough cash to see the company through the commercialization of ViSi and much of 2011, Watlington says. Sotera, which has 35 employees, will probably have one more funding round before it breaks even.

Already, Sotera is working on a second-generation device that will expand the modest electrocardiograph functions of the first-generation device. The follow-on device also will include a modem so it can send data directly to cell phones.

Although the ViSi is wireless, it is not wire-free: a thin wire connects its thumb and chest sensors to the ViSi wrist device. Watlington believes ViSi will ultimately be used by seniors or people with chronic diseases who want to live independently but need close monitoring by their doctors. Alerts could go to a central hub, or a physician’s cell phone. But before patients will  use the device long-term, Watlington acknowledges, Sotera needs to “get rid of the wires.”

Denise Gellene is a former Los Angeles Times science writer and regular contributor to Xconomy. You can reach her at dgellene@xconomy.com Follow @

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