Medical firm wins ERDF venture funding

Rapid Rhythm, based in the MedTech Centre on Manchester Science Parks, has received a £50,000 investment from the North West Fund for Biomedical, managed by Spark Impact.

The funding will be used to develop Rapid Rhythm's hand-held device that uses electro cardio graph data to diagnose atrial fibrillation.

The North West Fund for Biomedical is a sub-fund of the £185m evergreen North West Fund that is jointly financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

AF is a condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally-fast heart rate and is traditionally diagnosed by carrying out an ECG, which involves applying a number of electrodes to the skin to measure the electrical activity of the heart.

Rapid Rhythm, a spin-out from the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with Trustech Smart Healthcare Ventures, can diagnose AF using the electrode device which means the ECG examination is far quicker and could be performed in the primary health care setting.

This round of investment will be used to further optimise the design of the current device through refining the electrode interfaces to help improve the accuracy of AF diagnosis.

It also means Rapid Rhythm will be able to make prototypes, run trials and gather data needed to get the device approved.

Dr Adam Fitzpatrick, consultant cardiologist and inventor of the device, said: "AF carries with it a high risk factor for stroke, which is the third largest cause of death in the UK and many other Western countries.

"For patients with AF, their risk of stroke can be substantially reduced using anti-coagulant drugs but there is currently no device available which enables healthcare professionals to quickly test patients for the presence of AF, prescribe anti-coagulants and reduce the incidence of stroke."

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