CIT GAP Funds Invests in OxiWear to Support Innovations and Emergency Alerting for Pulmonary Hypertension

6/16, 3:55 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Richmond, VA, June 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that CIT GAP Funds, the direct investment program of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) Investment Division, has invested in Arlington, Va.-based OxiWear. Provider of a wearable earpiece that monitors blood oxygen levels, OxiWear’s device alerts users when it falls below safe thresholds, allowing help to be called in time for treatment. OxiWear will use this investment to support growth, conduct further research, and expand relationships with more hospitals and pharmacies.

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a type of high blood pressure that affects arteries in the lungs and heart. Close to 50 million patients in the United States are diagnosed with this condition, and are at a higher risk of heart failure due to PH induced Silent Hypoxia. OxiWear was founded with the belief that most PH deaths can be prevented by having an alert in time. OxiWear’s ear-wearable vital monitoring and emergency alert accessory provides Silent Hypoxia warnings when blood oxygen levels drop below the safe threshold. With these warnings, this helps seek assistance for the patients immediately, so there is no harm.

As someone who suffers from PH, I have experienced firsthand the dangerous complications of silent hypoxia from this condition. After several near-death experiences, I invented OxiWear as a personalized tool to support myself and the greater PH community so we can spend more time living our lives,” said Shavini Fernando, Founder and CEO of OxiWear. “With OxiWear, anyone who suffers from PH can easily contact emergency services if their oxygen levels drop to a dangerous level. We are very excited to have the support of CIT GAP Funds, whose investment will allow us to expand our market reach and benefit even more patients with our devices.”

OxiWear’s sleek and modern ear-wearable device shows blood oxygen level values visible on a mobile application. It provides warnings using haptics when levels drop below the user-defined safe threshold, a state known as hypoxia, in which there is increased risk of strokes and heart attacks. During severe drops, the user can call 911 with the click of a button and send text-alerts with their location to emergency contacts. While the device will be sold as an FDA medical device and a consumer device, the live data monitoring platform will be licensed for team performance monitoring and the data and tech will be licensed out for research purposes.

“Currently, there is no other device available to continuously monitor oxygen levels. OxiWear is a game changer for those affected by the complications of pulmonary hypertension, and could be the difference between safety and danger,” said Tom Weithman, Managing Director of CIT GAP Funds. “Shavini and her team are in a great position to expand and reach more medical departments, nursing homes and more locations serving patients with PH. We are excited to support OxiWear in their endeavors and lifesaving mission.”

About OxiWear
OxiWear is an ear-wearable vital monitoring, emergency alert accessory. This device not only tracks your blood-oxygen levels, but alerts emergency personnel to get help if you are unable. Due to different circumstances and health conditions, there could be situations where your oxygen levels drop so low that you cannot help yourself, or call for help. OxiWear eliminates that stress and worry. For more information, please visit: https://oxiwear.com/about-the-founder/.

About CIT GAP Funds | Investment Division | Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA)
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, CIT GAP Funds has deployed $32.4 million in capital across more than 240 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. CIT GAP Funds' investment decisions are guided by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit https://www.cit.org/gap-investment-funds.html.

About ​the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA)
​The Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA) was established in 2020 to support the life cycle of innovation, from translational research; to entrepreneurship; to pre-seed and seed-stage funding, as well as acceleration, growth, and commercialization, resulting in the creation of new jobs and company formation. The Authority provides a collaborative, consistent, and consolidated approach that will assist the Commonwealth in identifying its entrepreneurial strengths, including the identification of talents and resources that make the Commonwealth a unique place to grow and attract technology-based businesses. The VIPA, with CIT as its operating arm, brings together components of existing and new program activities in an approach through which the whole is greater than the sum of the individual programs. VIPA's design includes governance and management capabilities to ensure that programs generate transformative and measurable results. For more information, please visit www.cit.org/vipa.

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
Investing in Virginia's Growth | CIT, the not-for-profit operations arm of VIPA, accelerates next-generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, and market development initiatives. Programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | Virginia Research Investment Fund (VRIF) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit www.cit.org. You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.


Dan Warren
LaunchTech Communications
443-977-9638
dan@golaunchtech.com

Sara (Pomakoy) Poole
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
sara.poole@cit.org
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