Galway’s Bluedrop Medical raises €10.5m

Bluedrop plans to create 25 new jobs after developing a breakthrough device which diabetic patients can use to scan their feet at home.

Galway-based medtech company Bluedrop Medical has raised €10.5m to transform diabetic patient care.

The investment will enable Bluedrop to create 25 new jobs in 2023.

“Our mission is to reduce the risk of foot ulcers with a system that is both easy to use for the patient, and of zero burden to the healthcare system”

The funding was co-led by Atlantic Bridge and Elkstone, with other investors including the European Innovation Council Fund, Furthr VC, Western Development Commission, Ascentifi, and HBAN’s MedTech and Irrus Investments syndicates.

Bluedrop has developed a device which diabetic patients use to scan their feet at home. This scan is then uploaded to the cloud and checked by AI to see if they are at risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer, which if left unchecked can lead to amputation. Amputations caused by this have increased in Ireland by 45% in the last decade.

Defeating diabetes

Bluedrop Medical was founded by Chris Murphy and Simon Kiersey in 2015 to reduce the rate of preventable amputations for people afflicted with diabetes. Across the US and Europe, more than 250,000 amputations associated with diabetes occur each year, resulting in healthcare costs of over €30bn. In 2021, 645 of those amputations took place in Ireland, an increase of 45% over the previous decade.

Bluedrop Medical’s novel, award-winning solution enables those at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers to easily check their feet at home. The solution consists of a device – similar to a bathroom scale – that captures HD images of the feet, along with temperature data, when an individual stands on it. This data is sent to a HIPAA1 secure cloud for remote analysis using advanced AI-powered software, and is also reviewed by expert professionals employed by Bluedrop. Individuals using the device, and their healthcare provider, are notified if any abnormalities are detected.

The latest funding brings Bluedrop Medical’s total investment received to-date to €16m. This funding is critical to completing clinical trials and initiating commercialisation. Additionally, it will enable Bluedrop Medical to expand its production capacity, alongside its product development and commercial teams.

“This new funding is a testament to the huge amount of work our team has put in to developing a world class product that addresses a serious and growing medical need,” Murphy said.

“The patients we target have lost feeling in their feet and have a 40% annual risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer, with many leading to amputation. Almost all of these amputations are preventable. Our mission is to reduce the risk of foot ulcers with a system that is both easy to use for the patient, and of zero burden to the healthcare system.

“Our investors have been pivotal in our journey as a company. This latest funding allows us to get closer to our goal of becoming the gold standard method of remote patient monitoring for the diabetic foot.”

Currently employing 17 people, Bluedrop Medical will more than double its staff base to 42 this year, with a mixture of roles covering engineering, product development and manufacturing. The engineering and development roles will be based in Ireland while the commercial roles will be in the US.

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.