Innovator Spotlight Q&A Series: Antonis Armoundas, PhD
The Center for Innovation in Digital HealthCare Innovator Spotlight is a Q&A series that celebrates innovative ideas, highlights the important work that digital health innovators are doing to advance patient care and outcomes at Mass General Hospital, and shares key learnings about the innovation journey.
We are pleased to feature Antonis Armoundas, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Center, Mass General Hospital. Antonis and his team developed a device and a smartphone app featuring advanced signal processing algorithms, for the at-home monitoring of patients with sleep apnea. The device connects to the patient, which then connects to a smartphone through WiFi.
Most people, even those that appear to be the most successful, have failed repeatedly and perhaps miserably, yet a common trait they exhibit is that they do not give up. So, keep moving forward!
Q: Tell us about your innovation and the challenge(s) you are trying to solve.
AA: While sleep apnea remains the go-to-market strategy for cvrPhone, our long-term objective is to create a home-based hospital-grade monitoring platform that permits the remote monitoring of the most complex patients. Thus, cvrPhone would not only provide an improvement in patients’ long-term prognosis, but equally important, improve their quality of life by increasing overall mobility while relying on medically trusted technology.
cvrPhone was born at a time when multiple wearable technologies started to become popular and appealing to the public. However, the vision and mission of cvrPhone was not to provide another recreational fitness gadget for the super-healthy 40-year-old that aspires to run more marathons every year, but rather a medical grade ambulatory monitoring device that would provide peace of mind to both patients and physicians.
Q: Please tell us about your overall experience and some of the major milestones you’ve achieved so far? What are the next steps?
AA: Technologically, cvrPhone capitalizes on 25 years of research and development, in preclinical and clinical studies, that allowed for an iterative process of algorithmic innovation and validation. The first cvrPhone WiFi-based prototype relies on state-of-the-art signal processing algorithms, which soon will employ artificial intelligence in its decision-making. It is modular, thus allowing the user to select from multiple apps running simultaneously that could provide a diagnosis for very different underlying diseases.
Q: What resources have been most helpful to you, and that you think other MGH innovators would benefit from?
AA: Working with CIDH has benefited me in many ways, including guidance and advice from experienced individuals, such as how to prepare my pitch deck, identifying funding opportunities and connecting me with informative resources within Mass General Brigham. Perhaps, more importantly, CIDH introduced and connected me with other entrepreneurs who could potentially help my venture get off the ground. Overall, it has been a great experience!
A timeline of Antonis’ innovation journey with CIDH
Q: What advice would you give to other innovators at MGH that you wish you had been given early in your innovation journey?
AA: Make time, keep asking questions, do not get discouraged, keep walking. Most people, even those that appear to be the most successful, have failed repeatedly and perhaps miserably, yet a common trait they exhibit is that they do not give up. So, keep moving forward!
Clearly, each young innovator and aspiring entrepreneur is a unique case, is at a different point in their product’s technological evolution, and has different needs that may require customized attention and guidance. CIDH helps you to remain current and up-to-date, and always connected with the entrepreneurial world, even when the day-to-day grant- or paper-writing consumes most of the entrepreneurial oxygen.