Gait disorders are often a marker of general health and a prelude to evolutive diseases. Smart medical wearables have improved mobility by using body-worn sensors measuring and analyzing gait kinematics.

Paris-based medtech startup FeetMe announced it has raised €9.4 million in Series A funding led by LBO France. Other investments came from Kurma Diagnostics, the Paris Saclay seed fund, Idinvest Partners, Seventure, and SOSV. This comes two years after the startup closed a €1.95 seed funding round led by Kurma Diagnostics.

FeetMe said the funds will be used to accelerate its commercial activities in clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare services for hospitals and rehabilitation facilities worldwide.

In a discussion with EE Times Europe, Alexis Mathieu, founder and CEO of FeetMe, declared: “We plan to invest in the improvement of our technology, more precisely the battery autonomy, data storage extension, sensor measures and new sensors. We will also invest in clinical development to validate new digital biomarkers.”

Gait Monitoring

Gait disorders may indicate a cerebrovascular or other acute lesion in the nervous system, as well as systemic diseases or harmful effects of medication. They usually lead to a loss of personal freedom, falls and injuries and result in a marked reduction in the quality of life. To improve diagnosis for the millions of patients with known or unknown walking difficulties, FeetMe developed a solution for ambulatory gait assessment that combines miniaturized pressure sensors, motion sensors and smart algorithms. More than 20 metrics (e.g. width motion, cadence, pressure distribution, stride time, support asymmetry) are calculated at every step.

FeetMe Sensors

Image: FeetMe

For the FeetMe insole, Mathieu explained, “we develop our own pressure and motion sensors with extended mechanical resistance and improved performance in measurements. We use both gyroscopes and accelerometers.”

When it comes to data, Mathieu said a calculation power is embedded in the insole to allow real time gait parameters visualization and data transfer. The collected data is then compared with internal dataset. “Data is pre-processed on the insole, communicated via Bluetooth, and transmitted to the Cloud.”

Founded in 2013, FeetMe has a team of 15 engineers with expertise ranging from physics to signal processing and biomechanics. Initially engaged in sports and, more precisely running pace analysis, FeetMe has refocused on healthcare. A smart move since, Mathieu said, it “helps us validate the technology and create a full set of digital markers that will then be available for other applications such as sports and word arduousness evaluation.”