CardioMEMS: Georgia Tech to St. Jude Medical

Many successful startups have passed through the halls of Georgia Tech, and one of the recent breakthrough stories has been from CardioMEMS Inc. Currently a part of St. Jude Medical, CardioMEMS Inc. initially developed its core technology in Georgia Tech’s Microelectromechanical Systems lab. Their flagship product is a paperclip-sized device that helps physicians wirelessly manage heart failure and aneurysms. The device has a sensor which monitors pressure in the pulmonary artery and outputs information that is then sent over to a doctor who can provide medication.

Realizing the potential of the product, St. Jude Medical made an initial sixty million dollar investment in CardioMEMS with a view to buy the company later on. In 2014, CardioMEMS received a massive boost by gaining FDA approval for their product and subsequently were acquired by St. Jude Medical in a deal worth close to half a billion dollars. The company now finds itself in a near perfect situation with the resources of a multinational corporation and the energy of a startup.

Although their revolutionary technology is already being cited as one of the most stable cardiovascular sensors in the market, there is still a long way to go. Heart failure is an expensive medical problem with repeated hospitalizations, but the technology being developed at this company will reduce the requirement of expensive hospitalizations for the patients. CardioMEMS are expected to be a significant contributor to St. Jude Medical’s profit in the future, as higher revenues are expected to be generated for the reduced profile version of the device.

CardioMEMS’ ability to raise capital in Atlanta is a huge boost to the city and shows that moving to the typical hotbeds of venture capital funding like the Bay Area or Boston is not necessary. Apart from funding, CardioMEMS has had access to the some of the best engineering talent and resources in the country thanks to its proximity to Georgia Tech. Here’s to hoping for further success stories from medical startups in the Atlanta area!