This company is part of Executive’s Top 20 for 2015. Read more stories from our entrepreneurship in Lebanon section, for the latest analysis on the country’s ecosystem.
Industry: Health care and ICT
Product: Heart monitoring devices and analysis
Employees: 10 fixed employees
Founder: Ziad Sankari
When Ziad Sankari lost his father to a heart attack at the age of 17, the tragic circumstances motivated him to develop tools to monitor cardiac signals from the heart in a bid to catch and prevent life threatening conditions. By 2010, at age 24, he was a biomedical engineer, and in 2012 he founded CardioDiagnostics, a startup which offers wearable hardware and a service package to analyze the data received from the cardiac devices. After two rounds of capital injection, the first in the form of prizes and grants totalling $250,000 and the second an equity investment from Berytech Fund I totalling $540,000, the startup has seen revenues increase and the team size increase every six months since its inception.
CardioDiagnostics offers a complete package of services to their main target market, which is based in the US because they saw it as a more sophisticated and technologically developed market, and also because they manufacture their products in the US. Their product, LifeSense, is a package composed of hardware connecting to the body (which monitors electrical signals from the heart), and feeds data to a device that analyzes it and sends it to a ‘cloud’, an internet-type space where data is stored and collected. Both the analytics and the hardware are an integral part of the product and further, more sophisticated analysis is conducted in the cloud. This affords patients the ability to move while remaining under virtual observation, which can be lifesaving in the event of an emergency when local medical personnel are alerted through notifications.
Their main target market in the US has seen CardioDiagnostics reach an undisclosed seven figure number in terms of sales. Sankari has outlined their expansion, eyeing the UK, Germany and the Netherlands as future places of interest, as competitors are thin on the ground outside of the US market. Their offerings within their market are unique, as they outsource manufacturing, which allows them time to focus only on key elements of the supply chain and licence out their hardware. Their products are also sold in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but currently 90 percent of their income comes from US clients. Their devices are purchased high in the supply chain, by Independent Diagnostic Testing Facilities (IDTFs) and are then relayed down to hospitals and cardiology clinics. The scalability of the technology is apparent, as wearable sensors become more and more integrated into daily lifestyles – prominent examples of which can be found as apps on every smartphone that monitor daily steps taken.
While production and manufacturing is done outside of Lebanon, their fixed employees are still based here, with a core team of ten, comprised of engineers, clinical staff and business developers. Sankari hopes that, as CardioDiagnostics moves into new markets, the team in Lebanon expands further to create more job opportunities for local talent, since he retains all his salaried staff in the country. Their previous track record has seen staff numbers nearly double every few months in Lebanon, a trend Sankari wishes to keep over the coming years.